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Ways to Maintain Your Personal Hygiene

author image Sam Ashe-Edmunds
Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.
Ways to Maintain Your Personal Hygiene
Bath accessories and towel in the bathroom. Photo Credit: belchonock/iStock/Getty Images

While many health care practices focus on preventing diseases by strengthening the body from the inside out, personal hygiene focuses on preventing problems by working from the outside in. Simple measures, like proper washing, oral and foot care, are cornerstones of good body maintenance.

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Germs and Bacteria

A mother and child wash their hands together.
A mother and child wash their hands together. Photo Credit: MIXA next/MIXA/Getty Images

Bacteria enter our bodies after we come into physical contact with them. Handling raw food, changing diapers, working in the garden, cleaning toilets and emptying garbage cans all expose us a variety of contaminants and bacteria. Immediately after coming into contact with any materials you feel might be harmful if swallowed or rubbed into your eyes or nose, wash your hands with soap and warm water.

Bathing and Washing

A woman cleans and files her fingernails with an emery board.
A woman cleans and files her fingernails with an emery board. Photo Credit: Rolf Otzipka/Photodisc/Getty Images

CNN Health recommends washing your hands after any of the following: food preparation, eating, treating wounds, coming into physical contact with a sick or injured person, placing or removing contact lenses, using the toilet, changing a diaper, blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing, using the toilet or handling garbage. Clean under your fingernails, where bacteria can hide in the food, dirt or other material which can lodge there.

Oral Hygiene

A boy brushes his teeth in a modern bathroom.
A boy brushes his teeth in a modern bathroom. Photo Credit: ERproductions Ltd/Blend Images/Getty Images

Keeping your teeth, tongue and gums clean takes more than a rinse with mouth wash or the occasional brush. Your mouth is a considerable breeding ground for bacteria, and a transfer station for sending harmful bacteria throughout your body's system. According to research by Dr. Weston A. Price, cited in the book, "Root Canal Cover-Up," bacteria trapped in teeth can travel throughout the body, infecting organs, glands and tissue and can damage the kidneys, eyes, heart, brain and joints. In addition to thorough brushing, floss frequently to remove food lodged between teeth. Flossing also helps strengthen gums. Brush your tongue and gums, as well as your teeth, twice a day, to remove harmful bacteria and promote fresh breath.

Menstrual Hygiene

Female protection products on a pink towel.
Female protection products on a pink towel. Photo Credit: matka_Wariatka/iStock/Getty Images

Using the proper pads, tampons, cups or caps during menstruation is imperative to maintaining good hygiene for women. Changing items within their recommended use time increases their effectiveness and decreases sanitary problems and the chance of toxic shock. Proper and immediate disposal of menstrual products ensures no other humans or pets will be exposed to them.

Foot Care

A close-up of a baseball player standing on a base.
A close-up of a baseball player standing on a base. Photo Credit: Mike Watson Images/moodboard/Getty Images

Athlete's foot is caused by a fungus which thrives in warm, damp places. Wearing shoes without socks increases your chance of contracting this fungus. Athletes who do not change their wet socks after they are done with sports also run the risk of picking up this affliction. If you play recreational sports, consider bringing an extra pair of socks to your game or match so you can keep your feet dry if the team or foursome goes out for pizza or a beer after the night's activity. If you wear shoes without socks, line the shoes with an absorbent pad and/or use foot powder each time you wear them.

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