Personal Care Items-Why You Should Think Twice Before Sharing

While sharing of various personal items and products within a family brings a sense of togetherness, not to mention harmonizing the household budget, it can also be a mode of 'sharing' disease-causing germs. Some of these personalized items include:

Hair Tools

Combs, brushes, headscarves and cutters are commonly shared items that can spread fungal infections of the scalp, hair and skin. The infection are varied and range from a mild formation of dandruff to widespread oval or round patches of hair loss, which may sometimes discharged pus.

Ringworm is mainly a disease of children and is more common in boys than girls. In adults, it is more common in women than men, owing to increased exposure to infected children, and hormonal factors. Head lice normally occurs in school-going children. The lice are transmitted most effectively through head-to-head contact but can also be passed through sharing of clothing, headgear, pillow or combs and brushes.

Shoes and Socks

Fungal infections of the feet are very contagious and are easily spread from person to person. The infections are usually acquired from walking barefoot on contaminated floors, especially in communal bathrooms or showers. Sharing socks, shoes and bath mats can also spread infection.

Fungal infections, particularly between toes, are very common in adults resulting in itchy, peeling, whitish skin. the cleft between the fourth and fifth toes is most often affected but in rare cases, the toenails and soles of the feet may also be infected. A foul odor is sometimes present.

Clothing and bed linen

Sharing clothing, bed linen and even towels could result in fungal infections of the trunk, legs, arms and other areas of the body with intense sweating such as groin, armpits or under the breast. These infections are present as rings with well-defined margins, intense irritation and itching.

Warts can be spread through direct contact with an infected person or from touching contaminated items such as towels and clothes. Warts generally do not interfere with life except when they appear on pressure areas such as the soles of the feet, causing discomfort.

Pubic lice are perhaps one of the most unpleasant infections one can think of. In addition to direct contact with an infected person, these eight-legged creatures, which infest the hair in the pubic area, are also spread through sharing sheets, towels and clothes, especially underwear. Contrary to what some people think, pubic lice are rarely transmitted from toilet seats because the lice that fall from the body are usually injured or dying and unlike fleas, lice can't 'jump' from person to person.

Razors, Toothpick, Toothbrushes

Apart from having an intercourse with an infected partner, other methods of spreading hepatitis,  a fatal diseases, could include sharing of razors, utensils, teething rings, toothpicks and toothbrushes.

Most people with this virus that cause extreme damage to the liver don't feel sick when they are first infected, until yellowing of the eyes and other body parts starts to occur. Most infections transmitted within the family are treatable. However preventions is better than cure and going 'private' with your personal  items would be the best measure against spreading various disease-causing germs.

Are Antibacterial Soaps better than Regular ones?

In my own view, antibacterial soaps and hand-washes are not any better than plain ,old soaps and water for fighting these disease-causing germs in the house hold. Most manufacturers argue that their products are safe and more effective than conventional soaps, because they kill germs instead of just washing them off. Mostly, this is not the case, because they normally don't prove that their antibacterial products kill germs. Without this proof, its just one way of marketing to consumers.

Not only are these antibacterial soaps expensive but they can also contribute to the growth of drug-resistant bacteria. This is because soap sometimes leave behind bacteria that have better ability to flush threatening substances, from antibacterial soap chemicals to antibiotics from their systems. It's advisable to leave antibacterial soaps solely for hospital and homes with very sick people.

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