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.

Are you trying to find a doctor? Look here if you live in IllinoisLook here if you live in Wisconsin.

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Comments

36 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…

  14. If you sweat, you need to clean up.

  15. I only take showers on the days of the week that ends with the letter Y. ?

  16. I would never be able to wash my hair daily,as it would be brittle,numb and break off. When writing these things consider more one ethnic group will be reading this. It also makes no sense that some in the medical community recommend exercise more than cleanliness. I’m hoping in this regard people exercise good judgement

  17. I only take a shower when i’m going out of the house, especially on a date, or when i do a lot of activities (whether in-house or out). I hate showering and i thank God i do my jobs from my house.
    I always forget to shower actually.

  18. I work in landscaping, so I sweat everyday and am dirty, so yes I have to take a shower daily, and in the summer time, I’ve been known to take 2 or 3 showers daily. I’m naturally oily. And for everyone that says it affects your immune system hasn’t studied me. I haven’t been sick for 6 years, when I quit working at a hospital. The only time I dont shower daily is when camping.

  19. I use a hot shower as often as possible to loosen arthritic back.

  20. Being “stinky” comes down to your daily diet, not how often you shower. I like to think I eat a healthy diet and my armpits don’t stink. However, now and then when I eat, for example, a whole bag of chips, I can smell that from my body odor the next day. We all know the typical Western diet isn’t any good, so it’s no wonder everyone feels the need to shower every day. For the past year, I’ve been showering about two times a week and I honestly feel great. My skin and hair are definitely grateful for it.

  21. I take a shower every morning to help me wake up. Would it be ok to continue showering daily if i only wash my hair Every other day?

  22. Neboneed Farhadi March 2, 2021 at 2:03 pm · Reply

    I take 3-5 showers a day. Hopefully it doesn’t hurt me that much. Showers needed for planning things out.

  23. Gloria Picchetti May 26, 2021 at 12:54 pm · Reply

    I only wash my hair twice a week but I take showers everyday and that’s that.

  24. What about people who workout? Surely it’s necessary to shower after heavily sweating from a workout!

  25. This is a perfect example of one size does not fit all. I tend to bathe rather than shower. When I was growing up, our weekly bath was Saturday night. Now, I only get wet a couple times a week. I guess the bottom line, like so many other things, is to do what you believe is best for you.

  26. Showering twice a week is straight up disgusting and hasn’t been acceptable since what, like the 18th century? This to me is equivalent to when people used to go to the bathroom behind curtains and needed nosegays to even enter an indoor space.

    I’m almost 40 and I have been showering twice a day or *more* my ***entire life***, and people still think I’m in my twenties. I don’t have dry skin, I don’t have any wrinkles, and my lab work says I’m in perfect health and my immune system is perfectly fine. I haven’t even had trouble with fissures from hand washing in winter – it seems to be less and less a problem as I get older. This garbage about overbathing being detrimental for you is complete conjecture. If you have dry skin, moisturize. You don’t have to scour yourself with heavy detergent in piping hot water from head to toe twice a day. Knowing how to wash properly and take care of your skin really isn’t that hard – knowing how to be hygienic especially when you work with blood and body fluids really doesn’t have to be that hard, either.

    For people who work in health care and who deal with isolation environments, blood and body fluids, emesis and excrement, and for those of us who get very sweaty under a gown or lab coat you absolutely need to shower each day after work. There is no way in a million years I’d get into my clean bed with the sweat of the day and the lab all over me. Absolutely not.

    And after the gym? Same difference. I’m rinsing the sweat off and I’m using a gentle bar soap in areas that produce sweat and odor. Not hard.

  27. I think you people are all spoiled. Taking showers in the US at least ones a day often two time seems to be the norm.
    Have you ever experienced war. WW II is a good example . No way did people in war-zones took that many showers.
    Even in today times most European don’t take daily showers and they don’t stink either.
    You body gets used to taking showers every other day. It’s a waste of money, waste of water and soap. Medical professions advocate taking showers daily or two times can cause skin disease’s and can harm your skin.

  28. Washing your nether-regions, face and armpits daily, is common courtesy for yourself, and others. The hair thing? I used to wash daily at one time, but find my hair is more manageable if I stick to 3 times a week. I also color my hair, and it helps to conserve the color as well. Dry shampoos now a days are great – or rinse- less shampoos. I recommend Aveda or Batiste.

  29. Growing up we did not have a shower-only a tub and we bathed once or twice a week, more often in the summer. Now I shower daily in the am as I am very stiff in the morning and the warm water helps me to move easier. I do notice dry skin and apply lotion daily.

  30. I love all the comments from regular people trying to explain how they know better than a dermatologist.

    Just use common sense with the advice in this article, which I think is the major missing ingredient with these posts. There are obviously cases where following this to a dot will not always work – specific jobs, spills, etc. Sometimes you will need to shower back to back, the dermatologist is not barring you from it. Also important to note it is deduced the soap/washing part is the major issue, and not necessarily getting wet from plain water. So if you absolutely desire it, you can still shower – just don’t use the soaps.

    Just use your mind and process the article a little more before deciding you’re now a skin and hair expert in your response post.

  31. Well, i myself take a shower and wash my hair everyday. I do not like the greasy oily flat look, and like my hair to smell fresh and look shiny and bouncy. I do use gentle shampoos, good conditioners and hydrating body wash and lotions. Good hygiene is important not only for the body, but for the mind. When you know you are clean, you feel confident. At least I do. One does not have to take a long shower, but perhaps a good freshen up is all you need. It is a reflection on you. One does not have to have great wealth, or lots of possessions, but its important to take good care of what you DO have and show gratitude…..which is also taking good care our precious bodies!!

  32. I take a shower every Saturday…whether I need it or not. /JK

  33. I’m mostly a bath person. As I’ve gotten older, a hot bath helps alleviate aches and pains. If I’m pressed for time, I’ll take a quick shower. I have very short hair and wash it about every 3 days. I have to do some sort of all-over cleansing in the morning such as a bath or shower otherwise I would feel uncomfortable being in anyone else’s presence (except for my doggies—they don’t care if I stink!)

  34. It is interesting that hospitals do not allow men to have beards due to Covid. I would like to see if there are studies related to the trends in dry shampoo, lack of good hygiene, convincing people showers are not good for you and communication of disease.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

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