Hygiene Study - Can It Be Bad to Be Too Clean?

Too Much Hygiene is Bad: Study

Dr.Neeraj Mehta profile Authored by Dr.Neeraj Mehta on 14 Apr 2015 - 13:47.


To have a healthy environment around you, cleanliness is a must. Personal hygiene is a very important factor in leaving a good impression. It's a good habit to keep your house sanitized, and maintain personal cleanliness in order to prevent any bacterial disease.

The problem arises when you over do it. Studies have proven that if you have been raised in too strict, anti bacterial environment, chances are that you are less immune to seasonal changes and diseases like fever, cold, asthma etc.

Being too clean may lead you to increase your body’s “high allergic point”, which will overreact to the environment, says Professor Gallo, from University of California, San Diego.

According to other researches, ultra cleaning can be bad for children:

  • It has been seen, that children who do not have any exposure to outside environment such as mud or open grounds with grass, are likely to have a weakened immunity system.
  • Children who are only being fed sterilized food are more likely to catch diseases easily and may not have so strong, a digestive system.
  • Our body needs to be exposed to germs and bacteria in order to develop antibodies to fight them. But a strict germ free environment does not let the immune system mature effectively. The effect can be seen at a later age in children. A weakened immunity system may not be able to give you a protective shield towards seasonal changes. The possibility of developing allergic diseases increases. Over time, the usage of antibacterial soaps or antibacterial hand washes has increased, with the hope it helps in having germ free hands. However research studies say the following:
  • Overuse of antibacterial soaps or hand washes can result in “antibiotic resistance”, a condition developed by bacteria.
  • Antibacterial liquid soaps contain an active substance called Triclosan. If someone uses such products for a longer period, chances are that it may result in hormonal disturbance and in some cases a risk of certain cancers is also possible.
  • It is recommended to wash your hands with normal soap and water to reduce the risk of germs.

Water free hand sanitizers are said to be effective in killing the germs. However, they should contain more than 60 % of alcohol. The sanitizers which are being sold these days are non-alcoholic or may contain very less alcoholic substance. Usage of these may reduce the growth of bacteria but it does not kill them and this may help bacteria in developing antibiotic resistance.

Alert for women:

The vagina tends to release acidic pH, in case of healthy vagina it is between 3.8 and 4.5 pH. This works as protection towards any irritation or infection. If the pH is less acidic, it means that body’s natural defense system is weakening and may not be able to give protection from the detrimental bacteria.

The intimate wash available in the market these days, may affect the acidic pH balance. These washes should be used as per your gynecologist’s advise only.  If you wash your intimate part daily with soap and warm water it is sufficient as per the Hygiene parameters.

Therefore too much hygiene may lead you to develop basically more allergies, weak immune system, asthma and inflammatory bowel diseases disorders according to research findings. 





*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.