Wellness Pathway #193 Minimize Antibacterial Soaps

Of course proper hygiene is an important part of health, and most people understand that means keeping things clean, but ironically it’s possible for the environment to be too clean. Last year a study reported in the Archives of Disease in Childhood reported that children with the highest degree of personal hygiene — those who washed their faces and hands more than five times per day, cleaned before meals, and bathed more than two times each day — were the most likely to develop eczema and wheezing between the ages of 30 and 42 months.

The theory is that a lower exposure to germs affects the immune system’s development in such a way that it is more prone to allergic reactions. How does one find the proper balance? At the very least, we can stop using antibacterial soaps. These soaps contain powerful germicidal agents that hospitals use only in intensive care units and in areas where patients are at high risk of infection. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control advises hospitals to reserve antibacterial agents for patients in high-risk situations.

Far better to simply use regular soap. If you want to disinfect something, like sponges or dishrags, microwave until hot. Cutting boards and counter tops can be disinfected, as needed, with diluted chlorine bleach and then rinsed thoroughly. Too many antibacterial agents in the environment can promote the growth of resistant strains of bacteria and be hard on your skin. This is another area where less is more when it comes to health.

Coaching Inquiries: How often do you wash and clean your face, hands, body, and home? Do you use antibacterial cleaning agents? What shifts, if any, would you like to make here? 

To reply to this Pathway, use our Feedback Form. To learn more about our Wellness Coaching programs and to arrange for a complimentary wellness coaching session, use our Contact Form or Email Bob.

May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.

Bob Tschannen-Moran

President, LifeTrek Coaching Internationalwww.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformationwww.SchoolTransformation.com
2010-2011 President, International Association of Coachingwww.CertifiedCoach.org

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