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12 Dirtiest Body Parts Which You Aren't Washing Enough

Are you cleaning your body parts properly? If not, this article will give you an insight of the dirtiest body parts which you aren't washing enough.

If you are someone who has shorter showers then there are some areas of the body that you might not be cleaning enough. For example ears, navel, etc. If these places aren't cleaned properly, the accumulation of dirt may create a favourable environment for the bacteria.

So, the next time when you get into the shower, try cleaning these body parts as well.

1. Ears

We are not talking about cleaning inside of the ears, but behind the ears. While taking a shower, the back of the ear goes unnoticed which gives way to the accumulation of dirt as the sebaceous glands present there secrete sebum to keep your ear skin moist. This oily sebum attracts dirt and bacteria, which when not cleaned daily with water, will start smelling. When it comes to cleaning the inside of ears, one shouldn't clean the ear wax with cotton buds as it may cause ear injuries [1] .

2. Back

Your back might be getting wet in the shower, but it might not be completely clean as you may think. The back is one of the neglected body parts and one of the largest areas of the body. So, while you are resting your back in bed it is very easy for the pores and glands in your back to get clogged. So not cleaning your back thoroughly can lead to back acne.

3. Body Acne

Body acne is caused when there is a build-up of sebum which triggers bacteria that live on the skin and eventually start multiplying and cause the surrounding skin tissues to become inflamed. It is caused by mainly three factors - overactive oil glands, excess dead skin cells and an increase in acne-causing bacteria [2] .

4. Navel

Most people overlook the navel while taking a shower. The navel if not cleaned properly, starts accumulating dirt and becomes the breeding ground for bacteria [3] . Once the bacteria start multiplying, it leads to foul odour and skin infection. It is suggested to clean the navel with the help of a washcloth while taking a bath.

5. Mouth

Mouth is one of the dirtiest places of the human body. There are more than 700 million different types of bacteria living in an average person's mouth. These bacteria feed and multiply in your mouth, especially, the Streptococcus bacteria which feed on sugar and starchy carbohydrate foods that you consume [4] .

Even the tongue contains bacteria which is mostly present in the taste buds and other structures of the tongue [5] . It is essential to clean your tongue with a tongue scraper or a toothbrush after every meal [6] .

6. Scalp

Are you washing your scalp daily? If not then there could be an increase in the number of dead skin cells which the bacteria and body mites might feed on. Washing your hair and scalp can prevent dry, itchy and flaky skin. It also prevents the build-up of dandruff which attracts more germs and dirt on your head [7] , [8] .

7. Feet And Toes

Cleaning and scrubbing your toes and feet with a pumice stone is essential as this is one such area where dirt forms easily. Tinea pedis is a type of fungus which causes athlete's foot and develops in between or behind your toes [9] . So, wash and clean the area between your toes with soap and water and keep your feet dry as much as possible.

8. Fingernails

People who have bigger nails will often notice that black dirt has accumulated under the fingernails. When you are sneezing, or cleaning raw meat and doing other things with your fingers, the dirt and dust get trapped easily and faecal bacteria can easily multiply and breed in it.

9. Butt

The butt is another body part which needs some extra care. We are always sitting on our butt so the butt skin undergoes a lot of stress. Sweating in the butt is very common and if the area is not cleaned it can lead to acne. The dead skin cells can also lead to dry skin. So it is essential to clean your butt and moisturise it.

10. Hands

Not washing your hands properly will make you sick as the hands touch a lot of things throughout the day. According to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Health, 95 per cent of people do not know how to wash their hands properly [10] . According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cleaning your hands for at least 20 seconds is necessary.

11. Groin

The groin has folds and creases and sweating is very common in that area. This leads to the development of bacteria around the skin of your genitals. This is why effective cleansing of the groin is important to prevent excessive sweat. Wear loose cotton undergarments to prevent sweat from occurring in the first place.

12. Armpits

Excessive sweating causes smelling armpits. Also not shaving your underarms make your armpits look dirty as underarm hair holds moisture and attracts bacteria which causes your armpit to smell [11] . You can prevent smelly armpits by washing with soap and water or using a good deodorant that will not irritate the skin.

View Article References
  1. [1] Khan, N. B., Thaver, S., & Govender, S. M. (2017). Self-ear cleaning practices and the associated risk of ear injuries and ear-related symptoms in a group of university students.Journal of Public Health in Africa,8(2), 555.
  2. [2] Kraft, J., & Freiman, A. (2011). Management of acne.CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l'Association medicale canadienne,183(7), E430-5.
  3. [3] Hulcr, J., Latimer, A. M., Henley, J. B., Rountree, N. R., Fierer, N., Lucky, A., Lowman, M. D., … Dunn, R. R. (2012). A jungle in there: bacteria in belly buttons are highly diverse, but predictable.PloS one,7(11), e47712.
  4. [4] Aas, J. A., Paster, B. J., Stokes, L. N., Olsen, I., & Dewhirst, F. E. (2005). Defining the normal bacterial flora of the oral cavity.Journal of Clinical Microbiology,43(11), 5721-32.
  5. [5] Sun, B., Zhou, D., Tu, J., & Lu, Z. (2017). Evaluation of the Bacterial Diversity in the Human Tongue Coating Based on Genus-Specific Primers for 16S rRNA Sequencing.BioMed Research International,2017, 8184160.
  6. [6] Bordas, A., McNab, R., Staples, A. M., Bowman, J., Kanapka, J., & Bosma, M. P. (2008).Impact of different tongue cleaning methods on the bacterial load of the tongue dorsum. Archives of Oral Biology, 53, S13–S18.
  7. [7] Kerk, S. K., Lai, H. Y., Sze, S. K., Ng, K. W., Schmidtchen, A., & Adav, S. S. (2018). Bacteria Display Differential Growth and Adhesion Characteristics on Human Hair Shafts.Frontiers in Microbiology,9, 2145.
  8. [8] Borda, L. J., & Wikramanayake, T. C. (2015). Seborrheic Dermatitis and Dandruff: A Comprehensive Review.Journal of Clinical and Investigative Dermatology,3(2), 10.13188/2373-1044.1000019.
  9. [9] Al Hasan, M., Fitzgerald, S. M., Saoudian, M., & Krishnaswamy, G. (2004). Dermatology for the practicing allergist: Tinea pedis and its complications.Clinical and Molecular Allergy : CMA,2(1), 5.
  10. [10] Rabbi, S. E., & Dey, N. C. (2013). Exploring the gap between hand washing knowledge and practices in Bangladesh: a cross-sectional comparative study.BMC public health,13, 89.
  11. [11] Callewaert, C., Lambert, J., & Van de Wiele, T. (2017). Towards a bacterial treatment for armpit malodour. Experimental Dermatology, 26(5), 388–391.
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