Human bodies get dirty and so do bath towels. You wash your body every day, but do you ever wash your bath towels? How often and how thoroughly do you wash your wash clothes?

Do you hang your towel on a rack in the bathroom all week, or you care to spread it out in the sun? Do you ever think about what might be lurking in your dirty towels?

Do you share your towels with anyone? Come to think of it, when was the last time you changed your favourite towel—three months, six months, 12 months, or never?

There is no such thing as a harmless old towel. Even if you aired it, boiled it and disinfected it, an over-used bath towel could still wreak havoc against you! Most towels on the market are made of 100 percent cotton. That makes them very absorbent.

After a shower, you would probably have eliminated most of the germs and dirt from your skin, but do you know that the process of rubbing your towel against your body rubs off dead skin that sticks to the moist towel? Believe it or not, your towel could be a magnet for some of the most deadly but contagious germs imaginable.

Among these are pathogens for sexually transmissible diseases such as gonorrhoea and trichomoniasis.

For the sake of your good health, beware of the following contagious diseases from bath towels. All of them are treatable with antibiotics, anti-fungal medications and good hygiene. But most of all, avoidance of poor towel hygiene is the best prevention.

Neisseria gonorrhoeae is a sexually transmitted infection. The causative bacteria are present in the seminal fluid of infected men or vaginal discharges of infected women and are easily spread through physical contact that may be sexual or non-sexual such as sharing of bath towels. Many persons don’t know, but the gonorrhoea bacteria could also be transmitted from the towel to the eyes, so you do not want to be rubbing that dirty towel where it counts, do you?

Gonorrhoea is curable, but the bacteria can infect the genital tract, the mouth, and the rectum, and can also wreck havoc in a woman’s cervix, womb, birth canal, and fallopian tubes. The end result for a woman might include pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, or ectopic pregnancy. Women are particularly more at risk because they often have no symptoms even while the damage is being done.

Tip: Avoid rubbing your eyes and genitals with the same towel. Practice careful hygiene to avoid contagion! Absolutely no towel sharing!

A sexually transmitted parasitic infection, Trichomonas vaginalis is a microscopic parasite and is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. Most of the times, you don’t get symptoms, but they can include itching, burning, pain, irritation, painful urination, discharge, and odour. Failure to get treatment can lead to re-infection.

Tip: Change or wash your towels often as possible.

Barber’s Rash
This is a skin infection in facial hair areas. It is also known as “Folliculitis”. The underlying medical cause is or Staph Infection which can be notoriously hard to treat. It can spread to the rest of the body through use of a contaminated towel.

Tip: Don’t share your towels with someone else.

This is the infamous contagious eye infection also known as “Pink Eye”. Conjunctivitis is a group of diseases that cause swelling, itching, burning, and redness of the conjunctiva, the protective membrane that lines the eyelids and covers exposed areas of the sclera, or white of the eye.

Symptoms include “pink” eye, irritated, reddened, crusting, gritty, itchy eyes, swollen eyelid, eye pain and/or discomfort, light sensitivity, yellow discharge from the eye, or your eyelids glued shut after sleep.

Tip: Don’t rub your face with the same towel used to rub your body. Use a separate face towel and never share towels.

Impetigo is caused by different streptococci strains. Symptoms include skin rash with pus and discharge, pimples, blisters, itching rash, dried scabs, excessive scratching, and a blistery rash that spreads. Sometimes on your face!

Tip: Change or wash your towels often as possible.

A common infestation of the skin with the microscopic mite Sarcoptes scabei, spreads rapidly under crowded conditions where there is frequent skin-to-skin contact between people.

Symptoms are mainly rashes and itching all over the body, and infections that form in the skin from all the scratching.

Tip: As above.

General term for various fungal skin afflictions. Not only can these fungal afflictions affect your skin, but also they can infect your nails. Symptoms include ring-like raised itchy patches, blisters, scabs, and temporary scalp hair loss at site of infection.

Tip: Change or wash your towels often as possible.

A chronic follicular conjunctivitis that leads to scarring in the conjunctiva and cornea and it can lead to blindness. Seriously, who ever thought this could come from a towel? From red and/or watering eyes with swollen eyelids and sensitivity to red lumps on the eyelids and multiple lumps , giving you nasty eye pain, corneal scarring and dimming vision that gets progressively worse until you are totally blind. Not a joke!

Tip: Don’t rub your face with the same towel used to rub your body. Use a separate face towel and never share towels.
Tips on towel health
Assess your current inventory of bathroom towels, bath sheets or washcloths. Hang towels in layers. If you have basic towel bars, the first strategy involves stacking towels according to size. Begin with a bath sheet and fold a hand towel over it, ending with a washcloth. Instead of hooks, try modern towel clips for holding up towels in tight spaces.

Source: Diete Spiff Rema-pheobe(facebook) 

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