Basic personal hygiene is the process of maintaining cleanliness and personal grooming. It is important for everyone, not just to be a happy member of society, but also for health purposes; people who fail to practice basic hygiene are more likely to become sick themselves, or to make other people ill by spreading germs. In general, basic hygiene refers to bathing regularly to cleanse the skin and the hair, keeping the nails clipped and clean, brushing the teeth, and wearing deodorant. For most people, these hygiene practices are simply a habit they learned as children, while others may need to work harder at it, for a number of reasons.
Individuals with disabilities, or elderly people, may have trouble maintaining basic personal hygiene on their own. For this reason, individuals will sometimes live in assisted living facilities, or have a home care assistant who will come and help them care for themselves. This will help to ensure that they are safe and cared for properly, and also that their health stays good. For everyone else, though, it is important to make basic personal hygiene a daily habit if it isn't already.
Bathing or showering daily is the cornerstone of basic hygiene. It helps to prevent body odor, keeps the skin healthy, and can prevent some skin conditions that occur if the skin is not cared for properly. Washing the hands throughout the day is another part of basic personal hygiene, such as after using the restroom. This is not just important for personal cleanliness, but to prevent the spread of disease. Most workplaces post signs in the restrooms that require employees to wash their hands before they return to work. Other workplaces might require employees to wear gloves as well, such as those in the food service industry.
Keeping the teeth clean and healthy is another important aspect of basic personal hygiene. This involves brushing the teeth twice per day, and flossing at least once. Wearing deodorant is important as well. Finally, grooming the hair is part of daily care as well; this may include washing and brushing the hair, and for men, shaving the face or trimming a beard. It is expected that anyone who is a part of society, or part of the workplace, should look groomed and clean every day; in some cases, it may even be possible to lose a job if basic personal hygiene standards are not kept.