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Using The Same Loofah Forever? How Safe Is It?

If loofah is a part and parcel of your daily bathing regime, you should give it special consideration. Many of us are pretty touchy about our loofahs. We often claim that it took us years to find that perfect loofah, which suits our body and skin just perfectly. In fact, our bathing experience can never be the same without that loofah! Seemingly cleaning your skin with the loofah when you bathe can lead to dead skin cells getting trapped in the mesh fabric. At the same time, any microbes on the skin also get trapped in the same way.(1) On the other hand, in the moist environment of the bathroom, there is a high chance for bacteria and fungi to appear and rest on different surfaces including your loofah.

Using The Same Loofah Forever? How Safe Is It?

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Using The Same Loofah Forever? How Safe Is It?

Loofah is also known as bath pouf. It is available in the market in different qualities. Normally, loofah is made of nylon; however, the natural versions of the product made of plant fiber are also available in the market. Let’s understand, whether using the same loofah forever is safe or not.

Initiation Of Skin Issues For Using The Same Loofah Forever:

These bathing loofahs are a mesh of synthetic threads. With prolonged use, the synthetic, plastic threads could actually become rough and have a rather abrasive effect on our skin. We might think that it helps to scrub our skin better but in reality, it could actually turn out to be harsh on our skins. It can harm our skin barrier and can rob our skin of essential oils, making it rough and dry.(1)

Using Same Loofah Forever as a Source of Multiple Infections:

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An old loofah can be the breeding ground for several microbes and fungi. Loofahs made of nylon are particularly prone to microbial and fungal formation. The older your loofah, the riskier its use. Rubbing the skin with these kinds of loofahs quickly transfers the infections to your skin. If you are experiencing sudden body rashes, itching redness of the skin, skin patches, or sores, the loofah may be the cause. One bacterium called Staphylococcus can live naturally in the skin. In small numbers, it is not harmful. If it is transferred to your loofah and gets a scope to increase in numbers, you can get skin rashes. Similarly, cellulitis, another bacterial infection, can grow fast when you use the same old loofah for years.(1, 2)

Using Same Loofah Forever Can Lead To Allergies:

Using an old loofah while you shower in warm water can trigger allergies. It could lead to headaches, fits of coughing or sneezing. It could happen for men, women, and children of all age groups.

How to Keep your Loofah Clean?

One thing is for certain, for many, their loofahs are an integral part of their regular cleaning and bathing. Now if your bathing is incomplete in absence of a loofah, then it is imperative to follow a basic rule.

  • Keep changing it at regular intervals of 3-4 weeks for natural loofahs and 2 months for synthetic ones
  • Using the same loofah for a very long span of time is not a healthy habit.
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Many might say that they are using personal loofahs and are not sharing them with others! Well, that is natural, not a reason why you can endlessly use your loofah. Even if you are using a loofah exclusively it still happens to be the nesting ground of hundreds of microbes. Hence, make a habit of changing it in regular intervals.

Even when you are using a loofah, be sure to clean the item properly after use. In the routine of cleaning, drying your loofah properly is of elemental importance. Hang it out in the open sunlight for drying it completely. Once a week, soak your loofah in diluted bleach solution for 5 minutes and rise it thoroughly.(1) Dry it completely and store in a cool, dry place.

Alternatives to Loofahs

If you wish to go a little extra natural in your bathing regime you can try natural scrubbing items that can be used instead of your synthetic loofahs. One such thing is sea sponge. They have a naturally occurring enzymes that help in killing the bacteria. You can also use silicone scrubbers. The best is to use washcloths as it has a gentle exfoliating effect, and can be washed easily after every use. Turn to these alternatives, as they are environment friendly and can also be gentler towards your skin and health as a whole.(2)

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References:

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