Is showering every day detrimental to your health?

Is showering every day detrimental to your health?

The majority of people in the U.S. shower every day. A survey done by the market research company YouGov polled more than 1,100 people asking them how often they shower and found 63 percent of men and 53 percent of women admitted they showered at least once a day.

But is this daily task necessary or even healthy?

For most people, experts say the answer is no. In fact, did you know you shouldn’t be showering and washing your hair every day unless you suffer from certain skin diseases?

The reasoning behind not showering daily is twofold. Daily showers can lead to two main dermatological issues. First, when you shower, you typically wash your hair. When you do this every day, it can cause your hair to become dry and brittle.

“If you shampoo your hair every day, you can lose the cuticle oil,” says Dr. Amy Brodsky, a dermatologist at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. “Most people will wash their hair and then blow dry it or let it dry naturally and not add moisture back into the hair.”

If you do decide to wash your hair every day, many experts recommend adding a leave in conditioner.

The effects of daily showers can also have a negative effect on your skin. Washing your skin frequently can remove its natural oils and disrupt the population of bacteria supporting your immune system.

If you do insist on taking daily showers, Dr. Brodsky advises they should be short – five minutes long – at a lukewarm temperature. Depending on the season, she also recommends applying creams and lotions to your skin after you shower for protection. When you get out of the shower, it’s important to seal in moisture and not let the water evaporate.

So is showering daily a bad idea for everyone? In fact, there are certain groups for which daily showers are recommended. “If someone suffers from psoriasis or seborrheic dermatitis, they should be showering daily,” says Dr. Brodsky.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, psoriasis is a disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. Similar to psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis is a red, itchy rash that can appear on your scalp. Dr. Brodsky says these diseases have rapid cell turnover rates, which cause the skin to flake and appear dry but not actually be dry.

Still, for the average person, Dr. Brodsky recommends showering no more than twice a week.

If you decide to shower one day and skip the next, you will likely notice health benefits, including overall healthier skin and hair. How frequently you shower is of course a personal preference, but according to Dr. Brodsky, daily showers are simply not needed for the average person.

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15 Comments

  1. I cant sleep is I’m not freshly showered. I can feel the daily grime on my skin and cant sleep.

    • I’m with you. I need my bedtime shower to be able to relax and sleep. Also, it seems the good doctor had left out people who work or spend time outside. Allergies are much worse when you don’t shower, especially if you go to
      bed without showering unless you change your bedding every day.

  2. No, sorry, just, no. If you’ve entered or completed puberty, you need to shower every morning (unless you’re camping or backpacking or something where stinkiness is expected). Otherwise you just plain stink. It’s that simple. You don’t need to wash your hair every day, but, yes, you need a shower.

    • Except that showering everyday doesn’t prevent you from stinking……deorderant and perfumes, scented lotions and body sprays do. Without those a person can shower everyday a s still “stink” according to western standards. The doctors aren’t wrong about or immune systems being compromised by western (mostly American) standards of cleanliness. Countries where showering daily and deorderant and other forms of pleasant smelling products are regularly used to mask natural body order have higher average life spans than in America where we’re obsessed with such things.

  3. I agree with Jim – I am not comfortable getting into bed unless I’ve just showered. I feel grubby and would also feel like I’m getting my sheets dirty from the grime of the day on my skin. I would not feel relaxed enough to fall asleep.

  4. I’m with you. I need my shower before bed to relax and sleep.
    Also, the good doctor seems to have forgotten about people, especially children, who spend time outside. Pollen adheres to clothing and skin. Going to bed without showering can greatly aggravate allergies, especially if (like me) you do not change you bedding daily.

  5. I can’t go to bed without a shower. I work hard every day, sweat,. and if I don’t shower, I will stink up the bed. Can’t imagine anyone going to bed in the dirt and grime of the day!

  6. How often does Dr Brodsky shower?

  7. How can doctors recommend exercising regularly but not showering regularly? When I exercise properly I sweat – a lot. And I exercise 5 or 6 days a week. I’m drenched in sweat and my scalp sweats too. If I didn’t wash my hair, it would smell and be impossible to style and certainly not look professional. People who sweat less may be okay. And you may be able to shower less often in the winter.

  8. I use to think I had to shower everyday because I work out & have a job that makes me sweat all day however, after seeing several dermatologists on t.v. & reading many medical journals stating that after you exercise /work you should just rinse the sweat off your body and only use soap on your armpits and groin area unless you are covered in grime/grease, use a wash cloth to wipe yourself off. You can wash with soap all over once a week, your skin will thank you for this. After rinsing off/soaping up you should use a few drops of oil to lock in moisture any kind of oil,baby oil,olive oil,vegetable oil apply when wet then towel dry. Unless you are a mechanic, construction worker or fireman this is all you need.

  9. People all you need is to soap up your pits & your groin just rinse your skin off unless your covered in grease & grime. Grime isn’t sweat .

  10. This is gross. People need to shower everyday. Period.

  11. I go to the gym everyday, just imagine all kinds of people that go there. I see people in their hospital scrubs at the gym, I just think what If they are still wearing their hospital shoes, carrying cdiff/mrsa to the the gym after taking care of c diff. I stretch in the floor on the mat, the towel does not cover the whole mat so I feel my legs may carry some bacteria.

  12. I am a reservist & on one of my field exercise I did not shower for 16 days, all I had was baby wipes to clean myself with & used water from the water bull to wash my hands (or hand sanitizer) and brush my teeth. I felt so nasty but I did survive. Have to admit when I finally did shower my skin did feel & looked amazing.

  13. There are so many different reasons that vary to each other. I just can say that, if you are a hard working and have to work outside all day long. Then you must have to take a long shower on a daily basis. Otherwise it’s OK to take shower 1 or 2 times per week…

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care sites, also including freelance or intern writers.

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