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This Is What Happens When You Don’t Shower For 2 Days
We’ve all been there — day three or four of not bathing, when the cleanliness questions start to arise. “Is it OK to go this long without showering?” we ask ourselves while staring at our greasy reflections in the mirror. Well, much to your horror, it turns out some pretty gross things can happen when you don’t shower.
No soap, no water, no nothing. If you don’t shower regularly, that’s your prerogative (though there’s no guarantees your friends and family won’t have something to say).
But beyond personal preference, there’s actually a science behind what happens to your body when you don’t routinely bathe.
1. Your skin needs good bacteria
Up to 1,000 species of bacteria live on your skin, along with 80 types of fungus. Most of these germs are actually good for us—they work to push out the “bad” bacteria or break down skin secretions to produce natural moisturizers.
Bathing is our second line of defense against some of the nastier bacteria, so if you don’t regularly bathe and then touch your mouth, nose or eyes, you’re exposing yourself to harmful germs that could get you sick.
2. You can get skin infections
The balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria on our skin can be upset by not washing enough. Not washing you body makes it easier for germs that cause actual skin infections to flourish.
3. Some skin conditions are exacerbated
If you didn’t wash at all, dirt, sweat, dead skin cells and oil would start to accumulate. Not bathing is also harmful for people who have chronic skin conditions like acne.
4. You develop crusts of dirt on your skin
Dermatitis neglecta is a skin condition characterized by patches of thick, brown plaques that occur when you don’t bathe for a very long time. They are made up of different things like sweat and bacteria, and form a compact crust of dirt on a localized area of skin. Yikes.
5. You smell
Contrary to popular belief, it’s not actually sweat itself that smells. Sweat itself is actually odorless. It’s B.O., also known as bromhidrosis, that stinks. It happens when bacteria feed on the proteins and fatty acids in sweat, and then convert them into bad smelling chemicals.