You probably don’t spend much time thinking about the bacteria and mold in your bathroom, but your skin health can be compromised if you remain blissfully unaware. Here are a few Q & As on bathroom bacteria and recommendations on keeping your skin healthy.
Q. Should I wash my face with my hands?
A. Our hands carry bacteria, even after washing them. However, the bacteria that is constantly present on our skin is not always bad bacteria. The goal with washing your face is to remove dead skin cells,dirt, debris and excess oil through gentle exfoliation. Try using DermaSpaRx Facial Enzyme Cleanser by placing a drop in your palm and working in a circular motion over damp skin. A soft face cloth can be used, but is not necessary. Be careful not to over-wash your skin. If you are cleansing more than twice a day, you may strip away natural oils leaving skin feeling dry and irritated. Dry skin leads to more oil production and more bacteria-leaving you back where you started. If you are on-the-go or prefer not to use your hands to wash your face, try our Face Off Cleansing Pads.
Q. If I have Acne, should I wash my face more often?
A. There is a tendency in patients who break out to think that it’s because they’re not doing a good job of cleansing their skin or not doing it enough. Break outs and acne are conditions that are brought on by hormones and genetics. Acne is not caused by dirt. In fact, scrubbing the skin too hard or cleansing with harsh soaps or chemicals irritates the skin and can make acne worse. Simple cleansing of the skin to remove excess oil and dead skin cells is all that’s required. Acne must be treated based on type and severity. Make an appointment with your Dermatologist to learn about topical treatment options and solutions like the Acleara Treatment we offer here at the Asarch Center.
Q. How often should I wash my washcloths, hand towels & bath towels?
A. If you are one of the millions of people who use the same washcloths or towels all week, you may be doing your skin a huge disservice. Bacteria thrive in damp, densely woven materials. When you use a washcloth, hand towel, or bath towel, thousands of skin cells slough off your body and stick to the fabric. Those cells provide food for bacteria. The next time you use your washcloth or towel, these bacteria can transfer back to you, which can cause skin infections.
It is not practical or environmentally friendly to launder your washcloths and towels after every use so here are some guidelines:
- Launder towels and washcloths every 3 to 5 uses (not days- uses).
- Always hang towels up to dry between uses. Hang towels “open” and in a single layer. While the folded towels look nice and neat, they will not dry. Make sure you have enough towel spaces for the members of your family- don’t pile towels on one rack.
- Avoid sharing towels. Not only are everyone else’s skin cells on these items, but multiple uses makes it harder for them to dry.
Q. How often should I wash the bathroom rug?
A. Your bathroom rug is probably the one item in your bathroom that everyone uses and is constantly damp, making it a haven for bacteria. It is also an item that can be forgotten in the laundry cycle because we treat it like carpet. Think about how often your feet and the feet of your family are touching that rug. They are exposed to the bacteria lingering there which can lead to infection.
- Launder the bathroom rug once a week if it is in a heavily used bathroom. Rugs with non-skid rubber backing can deteriorate quickly if they are washed frequently, so I don’t recommend them. Instead, get a rug that can stand up to frequent laundering and be picked up off the floor and laid over the edge of the tub or shower door to dry. If slipping is a concern, get a rubber rug gripper for under the mat- this will keep the rug in place and can be washed off in the shower.