What Happens to Your Body When You Don't Change Your Underwear
When it comes to getting dressed every day, underwear is only part of that process. But it can be a more important part than you think. As it turns out, a non-changing undergarment can have a less ideal effect on your body.
However, many people may not realize this. A 2019 survey by underwear brand Tommy John found that almost half of Americans (45 percent) admitted having worn the same underwear for two or more days in a row. And 13 percent admitted they had occasionally worn the same underwear for a week or more.
While many experts admit that occasionally wearing dirty undergarments won't do any serious harm, this unsanitary habit can lead to unhealthy results if absorbed regularly.
"Wearing dirty underwear easily traps sweat, dirt and bacteria and keeps them close to your skin in a particularly sensitive place," says Dr. Giuseppe Aragona, General Practitioner for Prescription Doctors. "You might think you can wear it for an extra day - like a t-shirt if it doesn't smell - but underwear is used to protect extra dark, damp, and sweaty areas that can be through that much quicker Sealing of sweat, dirt and bacteria will be compromised. "
And it doesn't matter how hygienic you are proud of. Kim Langdon, MD, a certified gynecologist who works as a medical advisor for Medzino, says that even the most cautious of people will develop bacteria, dead cells, urine and mucus on their underwear, just as they do with "sanitary towels" after bowel movements or urination. "She says you couldn't wear the same underwear for two days at most, but ideally you want to change into a new pair every day.
Read on to find out how your body can be affected if you don't change your underwear. And to avoid a hygiene habit, find out which parts of the body you should never clean, according to doctors.
You can get a urinary tract infection.
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A 2019 study published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology found that some bacteria can linger on your underwear even after a full wash cycle. So there is no telling what might remain on an uncleaned pair. If this bacterium gets into the urinary tract, it can multiply in the bladder and cause a urinary tract infection (UTI). And for more ways you can hurt your health without even realizing it, this is the # 1 sign that you are not as healthy as you think you are, studies show.
You can also get a yeast infection.
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Yeast thrives in a moist environment. Langdon says if you don't change your underwear, especially after vigorous activity, moisture can build up down there and cause a yeast infection. And it's not just women. Men can get yeast infections too, according to WebMD.
You can get rashes and pimples.
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As Aragona explains, wearing dirty underwear sweats on your skin. And in this "particularly sensitive area", sweat that has been on the skin for too long clogs the pores, which can lead to rashes and breakouts. One of the most common rashes that this can cause is a heat rash, which can last up to two weeks. And for more hygiene aid, you should really shower that often, doctors say.
You can get body odors that linger.
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Discharge is a natural body secretion, but when you wear underwear it stays there. Michael Reitano, MD, a doctor in Roman, a men's healthcare app, told Bustle that if the discharge stays on your underwear and you wear that underwear again, it can linger on your body and become wet, causing strange smells leads will linger. And if you're not particularly sensitive to funky flavors, find out about the rare gene mutation that can make you immune to certain smells.
It can be itchy down there.
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A 2015 study published in Current Allergy found that the buildup of discharges and fluids in the fabric can cause severe itching in the area where the fabric touches. This leads to a condition known as "contact dermatitis", which becomes worse when there is fluid and friction on the skin. If you would like to receive more useful content straight to your inbox, subscribe to our daily newsletter.
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