The Importance of Personal Hygiene

Updated April 17, 2017

Personal hygiene entails bathing regularly, keeping your hair clean, trimming fingernails and toenails, brushing your teeth and using deodorant. Personal hygiene can enhance your self-confidence and improve your chances of success in many areas of your life. A lack of it can have certain social and health ramifications. Psychological problems can often spur bad hygiene practices.


Your personal hygiene can affect other people. People who do not wash their hands, for example, can pass infections or viruses on to other people. Personal hygiene is crucial for people who work with the public, such as restaurant workers, nurses and dentists. Restaurant workers who do not wash their hands properly can spread a number of diseases and cause outbreaks of food-borne illnesses.

Social Effects

People who are not properly groomed run the risk of being shunned or even ridiculed. Children with bad hygiene habits may get picked on. Problems such as body odour may also cause a person to lack confidence around members of the opposite sex. A person who is properly groomed and bathes regularly is more likely to exude confidence. She will also typically have more friends and be more successful on the job and in her relationships.

Health Effects

A lack of personal hygiene can cause many health problems. People who do not bathe regularly are more susceptible to fungus infections such as jock itch, athlete's feet or toenail fungus infections. A lack of oral hygiene can cause fungus infections such as oral thrush. Those who fail to wash their hands regularly are more prone to getting viruses or bacterial infections from others. Bed bugs are a common problem when good hygiene and regular cleaning are lacking.

Psychological Effects or Problems

Many times a lack of personal hygiene is caused by depression, a job loss or the death of a loved one. Depressed or grieving individuals sometimes forgo regular bathing or grooming. Other times, depression can be hormonal or physiological, which can also bring about similar bad hygiene practices. These problems are often subconscious when a person temporarily stops conducting his life in a rational way.


A lack of personal hygiene can lead to a staph infection called MRSA, or Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. This bacterial infection is resistant to most antibiotics. Failure to rid the body of MRSA can cause serious illnesses, such as blood diseases and pneumonia.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author