The common mistake people make when showering that can be ‘harmful’ – pharmacist’s warning

Showering: Dermatologist recommends ways to keep skin healthy

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Showering is one of life’s simple pleasures. Not only does it nourish the skin, it also soothes the mind. However, there is a right and wrong way to shower and the latter can be “detrimental” to your health, warned Hussain Abdeh, Superintendent Pharmacist at Medicine Direct.

“Taking long hot showers can be detrimental to your skin’s health,” Mr Abdeh explained to

He continued: “There is the temptation to stand under the hot water for as long as possible, especially on a cold morning before work.

“However, doing so can be harmful in some respects.”

How? According to Mr Abdeh, problems arise because your skin’s oil becomes softer under hot water.

“In one way this is a good thing, as once you have washed your body with soap, the sweat and dirt that causes body odour is easier to wash away.”

However, “by standing under the hot water for too long, your skin also loses the essential moisture it needs to stay hydrated and soft”, he warned.

“As a result, you may experience dry, itchy or irritated skin.”

This can cause a tsunami of problems, such as making the skin red and, in extreme cases, crack, which can lead to infection, warned Mr Abdeh.

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What does he recommend?

“The way to combat this is to limit your shower time to around 10 minutes, and keep the water as cool as possible, without it being cold.”

Evidence echoes this advice. For example, one study suggests cold water immersion bolsters the immune system.

A study in the journal PLoS One found that people who take cold showers were 29 percent less likely to call in sick for work or school.

Other people swear by cold water immersion because it aids fat loss, improved sleep, and reduced inflammation — all of which may benefit cardiovascular health.

However, as Harvard Health points out, the evidence is far too scarce to draw definitive conclusions.

Other common showering mistakes

Washing your hair every day can be a damaging practice.

Mr Abdeh explains: “Although it is important to keep your hair clean, and different people will need to wash their hair more or less frequently depending on their hair type, shampooing it daily can be doing it more harm than good.”

He continued: “Shampoo can often strip the hair of its natural oils, which your hair needs to stay strong and supple.

“If you wash your hair too frequently, you may be robbing it of these natural oils, which can make it dry and brittle.”

Also, dry and flaky skin on your scalp can be a breeding ground for dandruff, warns the NHS.

“Dandruff is a common skin condition. It’s not harmful and you cannot catch it.

According to the health body, stress and cold weather may also make dandruff worse.

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