Why Your Personal Hygiene Habits Aren't Nearly As Effective As You Think

Warning: If you're eating right now, you may want to put that fork down as you try to, um, digest the following information about your personal hygiene habits. Yes, those daily rituals you think are nice 'n' healthy are actually covering you with bacteria and (are you ready for this?) fecal matter (cue the barf bag!).
As proof positive, the Huffington Post put together a list of the offensive ways we create a cesspool without our knowledge. One of the scariest shockers on the list was about our laundry — and your undies may be the culprit. According to research conducted by Dr. Charles Gerba, a professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona, even a single pair in an entire load can transmit 100 million E. coli into the water. "There's about a tenth of a gram of poop in the average pair of underwear," Gerba told ABC. Yep, time to run that washer through a cleaning cycle with bleach, stat.
Advertisement
Another shocker was the belly button. The Huffington Post reported on a study posted in The Atlantic that is almost too hard (and gross) to believe. Researchers swabbed 60 belly buttons and found 2,368 unique species of bacteria — of which 1,458 may be completely new to science. As if that wasn't surprising enough, one swab contained a bacteria that has only been known to exist in the soil in Japan. It's important to remember that tons of bacteria live on and inside of us that are either neutral to our health or actually beneficial. But, that doesn't answer the question of how a Japanese soil-dwelling bacteria made it all the way to an American's bellybutton.
Click here to read the rest of these funky facts. While you might feel like washing your hands, like, right now, check out this video about a man who hasn't used soap or toothpaste in four years — yes, really. (Huffington Post)

Advertisement

More from Body

Earlier this year, Lena Dunham was hospitalized to treat a ruptured ovarian cyst, unintentionally shedding light on an often ignored area of women's health...
If your eyes tend to glaze over at first mention of the latest Health Hack That Will Change Your Life, we can’t really blame you. Although we are literally...
We're in plus-size pool party heaven
Pregnant women get a lot of advice about motherhood, even when they don't ask for it. And in the first episode of Expecting, from Refinery29's comedy ...
Summer is over (for real). So it's time to face the facts: You're going to get a cold. Actually, you're probably going to get colds — plural. The average ...
The pelvic exam — complete with the stirrups and the speculum — isn't anyone's favorite thing about having a vagina. But it's really important because it's...
A few years ago, two Michigan urologists noticed a curious pattern among their patients: Upon returning from a Disney World vacation, patients would ...
(Paid Content) Stress sweat is different from regular sweat in that it feeds off bacteria and causes odor. Then you start to think about it — producing ...
It shouldn't be this complicated, all this body stuff: size discrimination, weight bias, the multi-factioned movement fighting to reverse it. At its core ...
On principle, I am skeptical of any internet health recommendation that has the word “challenge” tacked on to the end of it. These wellness fads come and...
Although he had been dead for decades, Jim Morrison said something a few years ago that shocked people. He wasn’t speaking from beyond the grave, but in ...
In April, I ran a story called “The Medium-Sized Woman Problem.” The “problem,” of course, was not the women themselves, but the way in which we frame ...
Jill Krause writes about all things mom, parenting, and relationships at her blog, Baby Rabies, and she has some words of advice for the non-pregnant ...
Let me introduce you all to the love of my life, Sienna Harper Gernon! I've never felt love like it! @justchrisgernon thank you so much, you have been...