It is estimated that a person spends a year of his life in the shower. For most of us, it is a daily ritual. Some have shower in the morning, others at night, some before going out, and most after a workout. Our body feels light and refreshed after a shower. We can’t imagine going without it for a few days. But what if we had to?
In this article, we shall explore the events that will occur if you stop bathing/showering for a month. The intensity of these events may differ from person to person as each body functions differently. But they will all occur at some level for everyone. Let’s see what these are.
Events that occur when you stop bathing
- Your body will start to stink
This will be one of the first things you will notice about yourself. Since we all sweat at some level during the day, this is a common effect of not bathing. You will start to smell rank. Especially around your armpits, elbows, crotch, and knees. All these areas are most prone to sweating. The smell may be more noticeable to others than to yourself.
Interestingly, the sweat itself does not have any odour. But the fatty acids and proteins in it are food for bacteria on the skin. It is their metabolic process that creates the sweaty smell.
- Dirt accumulation
Whether you stay indoors or outdoors, you are continuously exposed to dirt and dust. Bathing helps clean the body of such dirt. However, when you give up bathing, this dirt accumulates on your body and causes different ailments. This dirt could add to the odour and even be unpleasant visually. Dirt could also lead to skin infections and permanent disorders in extreme cases.
- Skin health
Most dermatologists think that an average person showers too often. Showering frequently washes away healthy oils faster than the skin can replenish them. These healthy oils are vital to moisturize the skin. They also have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Reducing the frequency of baths can have a positive effect in the short term. But with increasing breaks between baths, the disadvantages start to outweigh the advantages.
As dirt, dust and sweat begin to accumulate on the skin, bacteria activity increases. In as little as 3 days, the skin will become dry. Dermatitis neglecta will start to occur. It is a skin condition that creates hyper-pigmented patches on the skin due to contaminated skin. Sores will develop on the skin due to constant scratching.
As time passes on, the skin will start to develop acne. Giving up bathing can also cause skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis to flare up.
- Social life could suffer
Going without a bath for 30 days could affect your social life more than you think. The odour will drive people away. They will be reluctant to hang out with you and may even refuse to acknowledge your presence. This is because it is uncomfortable to bear the odour.
You may also be seen as a source of infections and diseases. And since personal hygiene can be a difficult subject to broach, they would rather just avoid you completely.
- Hair health will deteriorate
Hair health depends a lot on the frequency of your bathing. If you stop bathing, your hair health will go for a toss. Of course, you can always resort to foods to prevent hair loss, but hygiene is just as important as proper nutrition.
First, let’s clear a myth. Contrary to popular belief, daily bathing and hot showers do not cause hair loss. They rid the scalp of unhealthy oils and dirt. But frequent bathing can dry out the scalp by washing out healthy oils. These healthy oils in normal levels provide elasticity, strength and moisture.
However, if you give up bathing for a month, it will not work out very well for your hair. Within 3 to 5 days, your hair will become so greasy from the dirt and scalp oils that it will become hard to brush/comb your hair. The scalp will be itchy and your dandruff issues will worsen. Hair loss will worsen after 3 weeks as it becomes dry and brittle. Food to prevent hair loss will seem to have no effect.
- Lice infestations
Lice are small insects that live and reproduce in bedding and clothes. They can also feed on skin residues and proliferate.
When you go without bathing for a month, you increase the risk of developing a lice infestation. They are usually found in moist areas such as the groin and armpits. Body lice is extremely uncomfortable and dangerous to your health.
Bathing regularly cleans the body of bacteria and germs that the body is exposed to during day-to-day activities. When you don’t bath for a couple of days, these bacteria start to accumulate. With time, they will find their way into your system.
When that happens, infections such as influenza, common cold and even Hepatitis A could occur. The immune system takes a hit. The groin area could also develop a fungal or yeast infection.
Summing it up:
We have now covered the effects of not bathing for a month. But this list is not exhaustive. There could be far more serious consequences than the ones mentioned above. It all depends on factors such as activity level, age, underlying medical conditions, and the environment.
While not bathing for a month is not recommended, many health specialists believe that bathing daily may not be necessary. Waiting for two, three, and even four days before the next bath will not have a negative impact in many cases. People with weak immune systems, however, are recommended to take baths every day. This includes newborns, the elderly, and cancer patients.