Not washing your bedsheets regularly? You are at risk of these 5 skin infections | Health - Hindustan Times
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Not washing your bedsheets regularly? You are at risk of these 5 skin infections

By, New Delhi
Aug 01, 2023 01:17 PM IST

Not changing bedsheets regularly can create an environment conducive to the growth and accumulation of microorganisms, which can lead to various skin infections

If you are someone who doesn't change or wash their bedsheets regularly due to lack of time or not knowing importance of keeping them clean, you may be inviting an array of skin infections. Bedsheets even though not visibly dirty accumulate dead skin cells, sweat and as a result mites that can cause bumps, acne, itching and other skin problems. When bedsheets are clogged with all these substances, there is hardly any space left for your skin to breathe and as it comes into contact with these contaminants, one experiences inflammation and exacerbation of skin conditions. Not changing bedsheets regularly can create an environment conducive to the growth and accumulation of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms, which can lead to various skin infections. (Also read: Bedroom decor 101: Top interior design trends and tips to transform your space)

Bedsheets even though not visibly dirty accumulate dead skin cells, sweat and as a result mites that can cause bumps, acne, itching and other skin problems. (Freepik)
Bedsheets even though not visibly dirty accumulate dead skin cells, sweat and as a result mites that can cause bumps, acne, itching and other skin problems. (Freepik)

How frequently should you change your bedsheets?

"Aim to change bedsheets at least once a week or more frequently if you sweat heavily during sleep or have skin conditions prone to infections. Additionally, regular bathing, proper wound care, and keeping the skin clean and dry can further reduce the risk of skin infections. If you suspect or experience any skin infection, seek medical advice from a healthcare professional for prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment," says Dr Rinky Kapoor, Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetic Dermatologist & Dermato-Surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics in an interview with HT Digital.

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5 skin infections you can get from not changing bedsheets

Dr Rinky shares the list of five skin infections that you can get by not changing bedsheets regularly:

1. Folliculitis

When bedsheets are not changed frequently, sweat, dead skin cells, and oils can accumulate, leading to clogged hair follicles. This can result in folliculitis, a common skin condition characterized by red, inflamed bumps or pustules around hair follicles. Bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus, often play a role in this infection.

2. Acne

Dirty bedsheets can harbour bacteria and sebum, which may exacerbate acne breakouts, particularly for those prone to acne. When the skin comes into contact with these contaminants night after night, it can lead to increased inflammation and a worsening of existing acne.

3. Ringworm

Fungi thrive in warm and moist environments, making unclean bedsheets an ideal breeding ground for them. Ringworm, a contagious fungal infection, can be transmitted through contact with contaminated sheets and cause itchy, red, and circular rashes on the skin.

4. Impetigo

Impetigo is a highly contagious bacterial skin infection that can occur when harmful bacteria, such as Streptococcus or Staphylococcus, enters through cuts or open wounds on the skin. Dirty sheets may harbor these bacteria, potentially leading to the development or spread of impetigo.

5. Athlete's Foot

Another common fungal infection, athlete's foot, can be contracted through the fungi present in unclean sheets. The feet come into contact with the sheets while sleeping, and if the fungi find favourable conditions, they can cause itching, redness, and peeling skin on the feet.

To prevent these skin infections, it is essential to maintain good hygiene practices, including regular changing and washing of bedsheets.

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