Improving your personal hygiene doesn’t have to be difficult or costly. Small changes in habits can make a big difference. If you’re concerned, see a doctor, as it may reveal an underlying health issue.

Wondering what constitutes bad hygiene, or trying to figure out if your hygiene habits are lacking? Take a (minty fresh) breath, and rest assured that some supposed bad hygiene traits are actually NBD — like peeing in the shower, for instance. That said, some poor hygienic traits can be harmful or even a sign of more serious issues.

Why hygiene matters

Skimping on hygiene might seem like NBD, and it isn’t if we’re talking about the occasional day you don’t brush your teeth until noon. But it matters when it affects your life or that of the people around you. In the most extreme cases, when left unattended, poor hygiene can breed disease that can affect you or others.

For example, not washing your hands after you use the toilet, handle food, or touch dirty surfaces can spread bacteria, viruses, and parasites. These can lead to infections and diseases, like food poisoninggastroenteritis, cold and flu, and hepatitis A — just to name a few. Poor dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, which can also affect the heart.

Not bathing can result in a skin condition called dermatitis neglecta and secondary infections. An obvious lack of hygiene can also affect a person’s work and social life. Some companies have a hygiene policy in place for the protection of employees and company image, especially if you have a public-facing role.

If you work in the food industry or in healthcare, proper hygiene is detrimental to the safety of everyone you’re in contact with.

What is bad hygiene?

Bad hygiene can be broken down into two categories: personal hygiene and environmental hygiene.

Here are examples of both kinds.

Signs of bad hygiene

Here are some signs that are indicative of poor hygiene in yourself or someone else:

What it can mean

People are quick to pass off poor hygiene habits as laziness, but poor hygiene can be a sign of a disease, such as Alzheimer’s, or a mental health condition, like depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

For some, lack of access to clean water, soap, or cleaning supplies can make proper hygiene more difficult to achieve.

Ways to have good hygiene

The bottom line

Practicing good hygiene doesn’t have to be time-consuming or require expensive products. A few tweaks to a person’s routine can help prevent bad hygiene.

Since poor personal and environmental hygiene can be a sign of an underlying condition, consider reaching out to a healthcare professional if you’re concerned about your hygiene or someone else’s.

By Adrienne Santos-Longhurst

Source: HealthLine Media

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