Showering with hot water every day and other health mistakes we make

Posted on 18 September 2013 | 76,014 views | 5 comments
Showering with hot water every day and other health mistakes we makePHOTO: PHOTO ILLUSTRATION

Do you enjoy a hot shower after a long, hard day? If you do, you may run the risk of exposing your skin to infection.

According to a report on AsiaOne, taking a hot shower -- and using harsh soaps -- can be harmful for the human skin as it may strip it of its oils, leaving it dry and cracked, says Dr Nick Lowe, a consultant dermatologist.

In fact, the combination may even result in infection.

One way to prevent such problems is to shower with water that is warm, or to use soap-free shower gels or aqueous cream.

Taking a steamy shower is not the only health mistake you may be making right now -- a study has shown that we may be pooping in the wrong way no thanks to the toilet bowl.

Experts have recommended squatting as the ideal way of relieving yourself for it increases intra-abdominal pressure, which encourages expulsion of human waste.

Find out more of that and other health mistakes in the gallery below.

Check out the gallery below to find out about common health mistakes, as well as tips to help make life better.

  • Driving with the windows down, forgetting to floss, and over-exercising can have more serious consequences than you may think. Just a few simple changes to your daily routine could potentially save your life.
  • Believe it or not, the toilet bowl is not a very good idea. This is because sitting causes you to strain when you move your bowels. This increases the risk of problems such as piles or diverticular diseases.
  • Squatting, rather than sitting, is actually better for one's health, says The Daily Mail which cited a study published by scientists in Israel.  This is because squatting is a more natural position which encourages the bowels to empty faster and easier.
  • A French proctologist - a doctor who specialises in diseases of the colon, rectum and anus - once told Time Magazine: "We were not meant to sit on toilets, we were meant to squat in the field."  A 2003 study published in the journal of Digestive Diseases and Sciences suggests that bad bathroom posture plays a bigger or equal role in ailments such as constipation, hemorrhoids and appendicities than a lack of dietary fiber.
  • People can control when they defecate, to some extent, by contracting or releasing the anal sphincter. But that muscle can’t maintain continence on its own.  When you poop, the puborectalis muscle loosens its hold on the rectum to allow waste to flow out. However, in the sitting position, the hold is only relaxed partially. In the squatting posture, the hold is completely relaxed, allowing for a smoother passage.
  • Right column indicates the anorectal angle on defecation according to the body position in the left column.  The anorectal angle on defecation became larger with squatting (c,f) than with sitting (a,d), and also larger than with sitting with the hip flexed (b,e). Squatting is the natural way to achieve easier and more complete elimination, researchers claim.
  • Since it isn't so easy to change our toilet habits after years of sitting comfortably to defecate, the folks at Squatty Potty have designed a stool that allows one to squat on a toilet easily.
  • For about US$30, you get a stable platform to elevate the feet and legs, allowing greater hip flexion and straightening out the anorectal angle (kink).
  • A daily hot shower using harsh soaps can be bad for your skin. "Using piping-hot water combined with harsh soaps can strip the skin of its oils, resulting in dryness, cracking and even infection," said consultant dermatologist Dr Nick Lowe in a report by The Daily Mail.
  • Yet, in hot and humid Singapore, a daily shower is essential if one does not wish to stink like a piece of fermented tofu. So what is one to do?  The Austin Plastic Surgery Institute recommends bathing in cooler water, which is less drying than hot water.
  • Also, use soap-free shower gels or aeqeous cream. These will be less drying to one's skin than conventional shower gels that leave the skin squeaky clean - the 'squeakiness' is an indicator that too much natural oil and moisture have been stripped from the skin.
  • According to a report in TIME magazine, 6.5 to 7.5 hours of solid sleep each night is sufficient for most people.  The report in The Daily Mail claims that getting eight hours of sleep a night can leave you feeling even more tired and might even shorten your lifespan.
  • A study suggests that people who slept eight hours or more had a "significantly increased mortality hazard."  If you are sleeping more than 8 hours a night and still wake up feeling exhausted, you could be suffering from a sleep disorder such as sleep apnoea or hypersomnia.
  • The bottomline is, one should sleep enough so that one wakes up feeling rested. We need less sleep as we grow older, so if you are in your sixties and feel perfectly refreshed on only about 6 hours of sleep a night, there should not be anything to worry about. But if you are in your twenties, and even sleeping 10 hours a day isn't enough, it might be wise to see a doctor.
  • On the other hand, getting not enough sleep is also a bad idea.  If you are getting less than 6-8 hours of sleep a day, chances are that you should be worrying about sleep deprivation rather than oversleeping.
  • Scientific research has proven that we look less attractive when we’ve had little sleep, but droopy eyelids and pasty skin are the least of our worries when it comes to our habit of scrimping on sleep, reported.