ZocdocAnswersCan not showering enough give you skin infections?

Question

Can not showering enough give you skin infections?

It's not like I don't shower at all, but I don't take a shower all of the time like a lot of people do. Does that mean that I have a risk of getting skin infections or skin diseases? Do you have to be super clean to avoid getting stuff like that?

Answer

It turns out to be something of a myth that daily showering is necessary to maintain good health. There is no evidence that you are at more risk for skin infections if you do not shower every day. In fact, there are multiple effects of showering every day which might not be good for your skin - for example excessive showering with hot water and using strong soaps may lead to skin dryness, especially in cold weather. There are some situations in which the above generalizations may not hold. For example, people with certain medical conditions are at higher risk of certain skin infections. For example, diabetics are at high risk of getting fungal infections in moist areas of skin, such as the armpits, groin, and under the breasts. In this situation, infrequent skin hygiene might predispose to this infection. Obviously, this sort of example is very specific and does not apply to most people however. Getting answers to general questions about skin health, hygiene, and other basic health topics is a great reason to see your primary care doctor. For example, if you have not had a annual physical exam in a while, you should schedule one - it will be a great opportunity to ask questions like this one!

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.