What are the causes of poor personal hygiene?

Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Pedro Simões

Sometimes physical, mental or environmental conditions cause people to have poor personal hygiene. Some of these conditions are easily treated, while others are not.


Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Pedro Simões

Many homeless people do not have access to bathing facilities and therefore have poor personal hygiene. As with other aspects of homelessness, this is a complex social issue that is not easily fixed.

Injury or Illness

Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Juhan Sonin

A serious injury can cause some people to develop poor personal hygiene. If they don't feel comfortable asking for help with bathing, this condition may continue until their injury heals. The same can occur when an illness leaves someone feeling weak.

Mental Illness

Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of Kevin Dooley

Anxiety, depression or other mental illness may make it hard for people to keep up with bathing. Treatment of the illness is typically required to address this.


Puberty is a difficult time for many preteens and teenagers. Sometimes they rebel against puberty with poor personal hygiene.


Being extremely old or extremely young can make it difficult to have proper personal hygiene. Assistance is often required.

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