Is Showering Once a Day Too Often for Your Skin?
The concept of daily showering or bathing is something that is ingrained in most of us from an early age. Our culture has presented us with the notion that clean and smelling properly (from the soap used) will somehow make us a better person or more apt to be perceived better. There is no question that having an obsessive odor is not a good thing in our society and that those who present themselves better have more opportunities (right or wrong) than those who do not, or who are not bathed. So showering or bathing plays a role in our social society. From the dermatology medical side, over showering or bathing can dry one’s skin as water is, believe it or not, a drying agent. Showering can remove bacteria and other things from the skin that are there for our normal host defenses and have been there since the beginning of time. So there is a balance – and as dermatologists, we need to make sure that people are clean, that they use products that are non-drying and irritating to the skin, yet will give that pleasantness that we are all striving for when we are presenting ourselves in society. Soapless cleansers, moisturizing following the shower, can all be positive things. Staying in the shower for short periods of time also is important and we stress this when discussing skin care with those with sensitive or those with skin diseases. If you have questions, speak to your dermatologist and learn the facts behind bathing and water — it may surprise you.