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The Meaning of Personal Hygiene

author image Julie Boehlke
Julie Boehlke is a seasoned copywriter and content creator based in the Great Lakes state. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Boehlke has more than 10 years of professional writing experience on topics such as health and wellness, green living, gardening, genealogy, finances, relationships, world travel, golf, outdoors and interior decorating. She has also worked in geriatrics and hospice care.
The Meaning of Personal Hygiene
Personal hygiene is a reflection of how you take care of yourself. Photo Credit Michael Reh/Fuse/Fuse/Getty Images

Having good personal hygiene practices means taking care of yourself and leading a healthy lifestyle. Personal hygiene habits and techniques should be instilled by parents to their children at a very young age. Personal hygiene includes cleaning all areas of your body on a daily or regular basis to prevent odor and keeping up with your appearance. Personal hygiene is more than just staying clean -- it can affect your self esteem and how others view and approach you.


The body works hard every minute of the day, cleaning and flushing toxins. This is done through sweat, skin shedding, tears, urine, saliva, ear wax, feces and body oils. As toxins are released and the body continues to age, some of these functions can prove to be odorous and unsightly, especially sweat. The Girls Health website explains that even through sweat can often times go undetected, if not washed off properly, it can lead to body odor. While these bodily functions are natural, they can contribute to poor hygiene practices if not addressed daily.


Some locations on the body produce more sweat and secretions and can lead to odor if not cleaned regularly. These areas include the feet, armpits, teeth and the groin area. A woman can have odor during her menstrual cycle if she doesn’t change her pads and tampons regularly. Men or women who sweat or have a body discharge in the groin area due to infection or disease can also develop odor that is unpleasant or foul. The Web Health Center notes that keeping hair clean on a daily basis will help combat dandruff and reduce the risk of contacting head lice. Keep nails and hair trimmed to improve hygiene and appearance.


Having a clean and refreshing appearance shows others that you really take care of yourself. This can be observed by how clean you appear, how you smell and how your clothes look. Visiting your doctor regularly and getting a health checkup will prevent and treat disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises that controlling your weight will help you feel better and combat obesity. Obesity can affect hygiene by causing you to sweat more and altering your appearance.


It is important to shower at least once daily to prevent odor from occurring or becoming noticeable. Rather than avoiding stressful situations that can contribute to stress and sweating, wearing a deodorant will help prevent odor from developing if your body temperature begins to rise. Keep your scalp clean by shampooing daily. Avoid bad breath by brushing after every meal.


Personal hygiene is a direct view on yourself, explains the Children, Youth and Women’s Health Service. If you practice regular, good hygiene, you increase your self-esteem and how others view you. You should also keep your surroundings clean so that it is easier to maintain good hygiene. This means washing and wearing clean clothes and eating and sleeping in a safe and clean environment. Keep yourself clean and enforce your children and family to also live by the same standards so everyone can lead a clean and enjoyable lifestyle.

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