If you have a personal hygiene problem, odor isn't the only issue. In fact, poor hygiene spreads illness, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It also affects interpersonal relationships, social interactions and job or school performance. Good hygiene, on the other hand, makes you come off as a capable person with self-worth and self-confidence. Good personal hygiene also helps you stay healthy, clean-looking and attractive.
Every time you touch a surface, sneeze, prepare food, change a diaper, handle your pet or use the bathroom, you pick up potentially harmful organisms, according to the CDC. Simple acts such as regular bathing and hand washing can stop you from transmitting cold, flu and infections caused by viruses and bacteria on your skin. When you don't wash regularly, not only can you harbor and spread these bacteria and viruses, but you're more likely to contract the illnesses they cause. If you have skin irritation or a wound, poor hygiene will likely lead to infection. Proper hygiene also helps to maintain healthy skin pH and skin strength. Your skin is a barrier from disease and good hygiene helps your skin more effectively provide that protection.
Healthy Personal Relationships
Poor hygiene deters people from getting to know you. If people find your body odor or unkempt, unclean appearance offensive, they're likely to pass judgments on your personality and your ability to care for yourself on a basic level. This can dissuade them forming friendships and meaningful bonds with you. People generally avoid smells and situations they find unpleasant. Maintaining good personal hygiene will benefit your social life in that it will remove this barrier to interaction and connection.
Heathy Professional Relationships
Appearances broadcast more than just how we look to the world. For example, when you present to a job interview well-dressed, displaying good hygiene, you look like a capable professional, able to handle yourself with care and respect. If you appear with poor hygiene, even if you're the most qualified candidate, it may send the message that you're sloppy, you don't care about your performance and you don't value and respect yourself. If your hygiene declines in school or the workplace, it can lead people to question your abilities and even your mental and physical health. At the very least, good hygiene in the workplace or school environment avoids creating unnecessary distractions to those around you.
A Jill-of-all-trades, Lillian Downey is a certified Responsible Sexuality Educator, certified clinical phlebotomist and a certified non-profit administrator. She's also written extensively on gardening and cooking. She also authors blogs on nail art blog and women's self esteem.