There’s an ongoing debate with people about how hygienic it is to wear the same underpants as yesterday. Quite a few individuals feel that this is a harmless act. However, there are others that disagree entirely and claim you need to change your underwear everyday. Although, for some people it’s just not worth the extra effort. Which side are you on in this debate?
Change Your Underwear Everyday
Some people reading this article are probably going through all the reasons right now in their head. What’s wrong with not changing your underwear even if it’s just for one day? Well, quite a bit can happen if you do this over a long enough time period. A study that was conducted in 2015 at the University of Maryland, revealed 28 percent of men believed that wearing the same underwear two days in a row was completely fine. Technically speaking, if you go just one day without changing your underwear it isn’t going to cause too much harm. However, if you wore the same pair for an entire week. now that’s a different story. (1)
Your body produces good and bad bacteria that forms on the layer of your skin. Especially if you’re somebody who exercises regularly. The more sweat and dead skin cells that form, the more of unpleasant smell can form. The more your body clings to the same piece of clothing, the more damage it can cause you. Accumulating enough bad bacteria in your underwear can have some adverse effects on your skin. This can lead to irritation of your skin, itching, rashes, and sometimes even developing something known as jock itch. Not to mention fungal conditions like a staph infection or tinea cruris. (1)
Change Your Underwear Even When You’re Sleeping
This also goes for people who like to sleep in their underwear at night. If you use the same pair of undies to sleep in, it can cause just as much of an effect on your skin.
“You shed skin cells at a vast rate all the time. They are full of microorganisms. We all have skin and gut organisms that are usually not harmful on our skin and in our gut. But if they get into the wrong place, they can cause problems.” Explains Sally Bloomfield, from the London School of Hygiene. (1)
Essentially, the best way to prevent this from happening is doing your laundry and using soap while you shower. Scrubbing off the sweat, dead skin cells, and anything else that might be clinging to your body. To be absolutely thorough, change your underwear everyday. It’s also important that you don’t put on the same clothes right after showering. Not only will that defeat the purpose of showering but your clothes will only get dirtier. Do not depend on the sniff test to decide if your underwear is clean enough. There are some bacteria that can still be present despite not having a smell. Experts say that even though the risk is low, there is still a risk of transferring e-coli to your face from your underwear with the sniff test.
Acne Stems From Sweat And Dirt
Another health related issue to not changing your clothes is acne. Acne can begin to form if your clothes remain unclean along with your skin. The more you wear the same article of clothing everyday, the more your skin will begin to breakout. Marisa Garshick, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at New York Presbyterian-Cornel, explains the effects. (2)
“In general, it is recommended to change your underwear daily to prevent the buildup of dirt, sweat, bacteria and oil. Occasionally forgetting to change your underwear for a few days is unlikely to cause significant damage.” (2)
The overall conclusion of this debate is that it’s fine for about a half a week if you don’t change your underwear everyday. If you go an entire week, to weeks, to months, then you may need to consider some healthier ways to clean your clothes. Not everyone has access to a washing and dryer machine, which is understandable. Sometimes having dirty clothes means saving money and time. However, it’s important to be mindful of your health when doing this.