People usually shower twice a day

Skin care in corona times: "You can go wrong with a shower"

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Our skin is the most versatile organ we have - and yet we often take too much care of it. In her practice in Uttenreuth, Bavaria, dermatologist Susanne Bühler-Singer treats the consequences of incorrect care and also sees what the pandemic is doing to our skin.

ZEITmagazin ONLINE: In the home office you think twice about whether it is worth taking a shower. Often laziness wins. Is this a problem?

Susanne Bühler-Singer: On the contrary, people tend to shower too much. Our skin is our protective shield, at the same time our sensory organ and responsible for temperature and moisture regulation. Showering every two days is enough. Those who shower every day damage their skin.

ZEITmagazin ONLINE: Why?

Bühler-Singer: Our skin has a protective acid mantle. To illustrate this, you can imagine the skin like a wall: the skin cells are the bricks and the intercellular substance is the mortar. If we rinse it out because we shower too often or incorrectly, the protective cover is attacked and it becomes dry. This allows germs to penetrate the skin, it becomes flaky and eczema can form. Substances that normally do not damage our skin can then irritate it - even the acidity of tomatoes or the starch of potatoes become a problem.

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ZEITmagazin ONLINE: How do you proceed if you want to change your shower rhythm?

Bühler-Singer: If you have showered every day and don't want to do without the fresh feeling, you can simply replace a shower with cat wash and clean the areas where you sweat a lot.

ZEITmagazin ONLINE: How often should babies and children shower?

Bühler-Singer: In the first year of life, children hardly ever get dirty. A shower or a short bath once or twice a week is sufficient here, and from the age of one then once or three times a week.

ZEITmagazin ONLINE: And how does adult skin feel when you only shower every three or four days?

Bühler-Singer: For people with sensitive skin, such as allergy sufferers or neurodermatitis patients, twice a week is sufficient. However, if healthy skin is less cared for, bacteria and fungi that are naturally on the skin may multiply. In normal numbers they are not dangerous, but if they multiply too much, it can lead to redness in skin folds, for example on the stomach, in the genital area or in the armpits - that is, where you sweat a lot. Dandruff may then form on the scalp. But it's not just about frequency, there are many other things you can do wrong with showering or bathing.

ZEITmagazin ONLINE: In fact?

Bühler-Singer: For example, use water that is too hot. 25 to 30 degrees are ideal, as this opens the pores without irritating them. And you shouldn't shower for more than ten minutes, otherwise the protective acid mantle of the skin will also suffer.