Showering is one of the individual ways of maintaining personal hygiene. But have you ever wondered what would happen to your body if you stop showering?

The latest video of Life Noggin explains that if you stop showering, your body would probably develop quite a stench as a result of the bacteria and dead skin cells accumulating on your body. According to Dr. Cameron Rokhsar, who is an associate clinical professor of dermatology at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York, among skin stratum corneum, or the pile dead cells that are top of your skin are some proteins with a sugary coating, such as sialomucin. Most bacteria love to consume sugar, and when they digest sugary proteins like sialomucin, they produce what we call body odor. So the less you shower, the more you smell.

Also, less showering means more dirty skin. If your skin is dirty, it would get itchy. When something itches, the natural tendency is to scratch the heck out of it. Scratching an itch can be great, but if you scratch too much you can hurt yourself, even breaking through your skin. On a related note, never bathing would not only make you smell awful, but you would also be exposed to germs which can get you sick and put you at a higher risk of infection.

“If you were to get a cut or a scratch (perhaps because of all that excessive itchiness) and your skin was covered in all sorts of extra bacteria, those bacteria might find their way inside your wound and eventually lead to a soft tissue infection” explains the video. “You would also become more prone to a whole host of other health issues, from acne and pus to fungus between your toes, or even intertrigo, a painful combination of yeast and inflammation in your groin.”

As mentioned above, dirty skin can increase your risk of infection. Well, so can dry skin. Do you know what can cause dry skin? Shower. And you know what else shower does? It can strip the skin of the protective oils and even some of the good bacteria that have been growing on your skin if you do it frequently. And this may raise your risk for some health issues. Some doctors even say that you should only apply soap to the parts of your body that typically smell — such as your armpits, groin, and butt.

Frequent showers sure do reduce your body odours, but how often should you actually do it?

Well, if you don’t have any medical issues, hitting the shower once or twice a week is best, but you should keep it short at least 5 minutes. And if you exercise a lot or have a job that gets down and dirty, it’s okay to shower every day.

Further Readings and Reference(s):

Dermatitis Neglecta — A Dirty Dermatosis: Report of Three Cases
The Structure and Assembly of Secreted Mucins
Disorders of the Apocrine Sweat Glands