Health Promotion: Hygiene- body grooming tips
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Scalp hair: Neglect is the principal cause of falling hair and baldness among men and women.
Regular brushing and washing should be practised. Hygienically neglected hair is very susceptible to the scalp microbes which cause dandruff. So let the hair be oiled, massaged and brushed daily. This stimulates the scalp, increases the flow of blood and keeps the glands working. Most hair creams help in eliminating the microbes of the hair so let us ensure to oil it daily.
Women - It is our crowning glory. If we are blessed with hair, it is easy enough to maintain it. Let's keep it at a length and style at which we can maintain it. Plaiting it to a style we desire and ensuring to wash it whenever we want to plait it again is necessary. We should frequently wash and plait our hair using soap or mild shampoo. Shampoos with borax or alkalis should be avoided. Rinsing well is important.
Men - Cutting our hair low, ensuring that the barber wipes the blades with spirit before using it on us is necessary. This helps in sterilizing the blade; therefore preventing the spread of infections from one person to another. We should ensure to maintain our hair if we want to keep it at length. It should be part of our bathing routine to wash, dry, comb, oil and keep it neat every day. Let's also ensure to clean our brush and comb every day.
Eyes: Our vision is one of those wonderful gifts most of us take for granted. The only time we even have cause to think about our vision as such is when we think about a blind person who has no vision at all, or when our own vision begins to fail us. Being aware of the importance of protecting our vision can help us to avoid problems with it in the future.
(1) Eating a lot of Vitamins A, E, C, Zinc and Selenium can help prevent many diseases including those that affect the eyes.
(2) Avoid rubbing the eyes. We might scratch our eyes and might also pass germs from our hands into our eyes. Suppose some dust blows in our eyes. Preferably we should use a white clean cloth to gently wipe it out.
The eyes also fill with tears and blinking helps in spreading tears over our eyes. These tears are protected mechanisms that wash away dust and help in killing germs that could cause an eye infection. Have we asked ourselves why we have some dirty whitish materials besides the eye after waking up in the morning? It is the dirt in our eyes that has been swept out.
(3) Avoiding the eyes getting into contact with sharp objects and never throwing anything into somebody's eyes. Never look directly into the sun or welder's solder light. These rays are extremely high and can damage the eyes.
(4) Let's work with a bright light that shines over our back or on our work, not in our eyes. Let's ensure not to overuse the eyes; it also need to be rested (by sleeping). (5) Avoid wearing contact lenses when our eyes are not tested and prescribed by an eye specialist.
(6) Those who are outside most of the day should use sunglasses to prevent heavy exposure to ultraviolet light.
(7) Undergoing regular eye check-ups. People with obesity or who are diabetic should have more routine checkups since they are more likely to develop certain eye diseases.
Ears: Let's think about the many ways our ears help us. Then imagine how our life would change if we could not hear well.
(1) Let's clean our ears with extra care. Wipe the outer ear with a washcloth or tissue or cotton board stick (ensure the cotton is firm on the plastic stick) at least 2 - 3 times a week. It is always better we do it ourselves because we know the extent we can push it. Ensure to wipe the sides and the outer parts. Note: We do not need to clean the inside parts of the ears. Wax (ear's mechanism for self-cleaning) that forms in the ear traps dust and prevents the dust from going to the inner parts of the ear. We should not use bobby pins or sharp pointed objects to clean our ears. These objects may injure the ear canal or eardrum.
(2) If we have pierced ears, we should remove and clean the area (earlobes) and our earrings regularly
(3) Avoiding excessive volume when using stereos and home theater systems. Loud sounds can damage small nerve cells in the ear and cannot be repaired.
(4) Always wearing a helmet when cycling or in any other activity that puts us at risk for head and ear injuries.
(5) Let's consult our ear specialist if we experience itching or pain in our ears. Let's have our ears checked regularly.
Nose: It is one of the body parts which are easily affected by the environment. Foul smell can originate from the nose. Any foreign substances stuck in the nose can be one of the reasons. It may be due to sinus infections, which causes discharge from the sinuses to pass through the back of the throat, resulting in foul smell.
So it's very important to look after our nose. Use a clean cloth soaked with water to gently wipe the nose regularly. Let's leave the bad habits such as public nose-picking, blowing the nose hard in public or stuffing things such as round rings, paper and handkerchiefs up to the nostril. Avoid putting sharp objects in the nose. Never try to cut the hair in your nose: it protects the nose from dust and other foreign materials that get through the nose. If hair is too long to the point of extending out of the nose, then trim it down.
Mouth (oral cavity and teeth): Bad breath - Oral hygiene is of the utmost importance to keep this orifice healthy and clean. Bad breath can be very embarrassing for the sufferer but more off-putting for the person standing before them. Here are some facts to make us aware of how our breath can turn into a foul smelling cesspit. In the mouth the most common source of bad breath is the very back of the tongue where food particles, dead cells and post-nasal drip normally accumulates, and the source of foul smells. A bacterium is mainly one of the true causes behind mouth, teeth and gum disease. Toothache can be very painful - so let us remember to stop the build-up of plaque by ensuring proper oral hygiene.
(1) Bad breath usually increases when the mouth is dry - after waking up in the morning which is due to the reduction in saliva production during sleep, as the mouth is kept shut for a longer period. Hence, saliva has an important role in the cleansing and moisturizing of the mouth as this helps in getting rid of food debris, bacteria and dead cells. We should try to chew sugarless gum if our mouth is always dry for ten minutes at a time. It may not be the cure but is certainly a great way to help. Let's stop spitting saliva.
(2) Brush our teeth with toothpaste that contains fluoride at least two times each day preferably after every meal. Brushing before going to bed and after waking up is important. While brushing, we should pay attention to the fact that we are getting rid of the food particles stuck in between the teeth and in the crevices of the flatter teeth at the back, the molars and pre-molars. Brush down on the upper teeth and brush up on the lower teeth. Use a circular motion and ensure that we brush every single tooth. Pay attention to the tongue and the sides of the gum as well. The brush should be soft and have resilient bristles. It should be rinsed well and left to dry after use.
(3) Rinse the mouth with water after brushing. Then spit the water out.
(4) Avoid smoking as it darkens the lips, generates odour and causes numerous diseases.
Armpit (axillary hair): There are two basic sorts of glands in the axillary area - the eccrine and apocrine glands. The eccrine glands are responsible for the watery production and the apocrine glands secrete a protein like substance. Severe sweating under the armpits normally happens at puberty. If control is lost in easing sweat loss, sufferers may find they have to change their clothes up to three times a day or more depending on the amount of sweat outbursts. Embarrassment may even have individuals avoiding certain colours they wear so as not to attract attention to the offending area.
Armpit hair shaving, frequent washing and deodorant can help, if we don't sweat but have underarm smell. If we have profuse underarm sweat, we probably will need antiperspirant deodorant to slow down the production of underarm sweat and give it a delicate smell. Because of genetic difference and different body composition, we might need to try different antiperspirants to see which one works best. Let us ensure that we give one enough trial before trying another. Ensure to cut axillary and pubic hair but if it causes severe itching and growth of small pimples, then we might just need to trim it not remove.
Pubic area (groin and anus)Our private part is one of the parts most valued by the opposite sex. So it is to our best interest to keep it clean and healthy. Hygiene involving the private parts is most important to help stem the problem of an embarrassing smell. Like it or not, pubic orifices will always have slight odour and what we should not accept is when it turns into a strong repulsive stink.
(1) Washing them regularly and ensure to wipe dry.
(2) Proper menstruation hygiene, ensuring to wash and change pads frequently. Proper cleaning of semen in men.
(3) Avoiding very tight underwear and frequent change.
(4) Women should ensure to wash the vagina from front to back, not back to front - this is because bacteria from the anus could get to the vagina thereby causing infections.
(5) After defecating, we should use water to wash properly and wipe dry with toilet paper. Ensure to wash hands with soap and avoid getting the mouth into contact with faeces.
Hands and nails: The world around us swarms with microorganisms. Some bacteria are found on our bodies. In countries where food is eaten and prepared with bare hands extra attention has to be paid to the cleanliness of hands and nails. Besides, a permanent layer of dust reduces the sensitivity of the hands. Washing the hands thoroughly with soap and water before and after every meal and after visiting the toilet is recommended. Soaping and rinsing should cover the areas between fingers, nails, palms and the back of the hand. Hands should be dried with a clean towel after wash. The towel has to be clean and washed every day.
Doctors can surmise a lot about our internal health purely by looking at the appearance of our nails. Not only that, but socially (friends, co-workers and new contacts) all tend to judge our level of personal hygiene by the appearance of our nails. Clipping nails short, along their shape but not cutting them so close that it pinches the skin is necessary. Grow nails only if we can work with and keep them clean. It is important to ensure that no black materials stay in between the nails and the underlying skin. Nail polish users should see that it does not chip off into food. Let's not keep our nails painted continuously. It causes the keratin, of which nails are made, to split.
Feet: Foot hardening or athletic foot or cracking of the foot is common in our society - extra foot hygiene is required. Let's give our feet a good scrub with a sponge, pumice stone or foot scrubber that is not made of very abrasive material when having a bath. It's good to dry after bath between toes and keep the toenails clipped. Those of us who use shoes constantly need to slip them off once in a while. This airs the socks a bit and makes them less smelly. Wear cotton socks instead of synthetic socks or instead ensure to change them every day. If possible let's not wear the same pair of shoes every day. Going bare footed on dirty places should be avoided. Extra foot care is required for diabetics.
Skin: Soap and water are essential for keeping the skin clean. Those of us who are involved in active sports or work-out need to take a bath after the activity. We should use a soft bath sponge for scrubbing, not an abrasive material. The proper care of the skin will save the expenditure of vast sums upon complexion lotions. The skin requires daily attention to keep it in good condition. Baths are useful because they increase the excretory function of the skin, and stimulate the glands to renewed activity, and thus get rid of waste products from the body. Both cold and warm water do the same function but differ in that they tend to regulate the temperature of the body and skin.
Never bath with very hot or cold water. Bleaching creams should be avoided - they tend to destroy the tissues of the skin - there is decreased wound healing and skin closure after operation takes longer, thereby generating a remarkable spot. Bathing with water containing lime or magnesium salts should be avoided as they make the skin tender and rough.
Conclusion: Our personal hygiene and physical outlook matter a lot - we become a centre of attraction, love and companion when we take good care of ourselves. Smell exists because foreign organisms have inhabited a certain area. Thousands of bacteria exist in our body. We have got to do our best not to allow bacteria and other organisms to dominate us and put us at the risk of diseases.
Reviewed and approved by the GMDC. Comments, Opinion or Support, write to email@example.com
Author: By Emeka Baldeh