You come home after a sweltering hot day, take a shower and let the cold water run down your body while you lather up with a light sponge massage. Who wouldn’t like it? Nobody in this heat. But there is a factor in the equation that not everyone likes: sponge. There are those who cannot imagine showering without them, and those who prefer to use soap with their hands, either because they are uncomfortable or because they are afraid that too many microorganisms will accumulate in them. The latter may seem a little exaggerated, but the truth is that they are not wrong. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we don’t use it, but it does mean that we have to change the sponge much more often than usual.

Already in the 90s, a study was carried out that demonstrated how quickly certain bacteria can multiply in a sponge. It’s not for less because it’s a very supportive environment for them: hot and wet. In addition dead skin cells which stick to the sponge when we rub them, give them the food they need to grow.

For this reason, most dermatologists recommend showering with soap only, smearing it with your hands. Now, if there is no other choice because we no longer know how to wash differently, we can do it, but we must change the sponge before the number of bacteria living in it becomes too dangerous for health. This point may vary, but most experts recommend that it be approximately 3 or 4 weeks of use.

Why should we change the sponge regularly?

sponges are objects porouswhich are used in humid and warm environment and that a large number of dead cells accumulate in a short time. It’s an amusement park for bacteria.

This was demonstrated in 1993 by a group of scientists from Mount Sinai Hospital, from New York. In their study, they focused on loofah sponges, a plant in the same family as cucumbers that can be used to make exfoliating sponges. Nowadays, synthetic ones are much more common, although luffa can still be used. Be that as it may, the first thing they noticed in their study was that they observed the growth of bacteria of the species Pseudomonas aeruginosa when they were sterilewithout any use.

These bacteria are especially dangerous for immunocompromised people, which can cause everything from pneumonia to respiratory tract infections. They are also responsible for some cases of sepsis, which can be fatal. They are usually found in the environment and can infect us without us realizing it, since they only cause disease when the immune system cannot fight them. For this reason, they are especially problematic in hospitals, where many strains have been found in recent years. resistant to antibiotics.

skin diseases

It is also known that these bacteria can cause folliculitis. This is a skin disease caused hair follicle infection. This is common in people who shave, but can also cause dirty lips. It’s not serious, but annoying.

For this reason, these scientists continued to investigate what happened to these sponges not only when they were sterile, but also when they were wet and used on the skin. They saw that the population of these bacteria grew exponentially in just 24 hours after use. In addition, other types of bacteria have been found, such as Epidermal staphylococcus aureus And pyogenic streptococcus. All of these can cause skin infections or even more serious infections if sponges are used on wounds or open pores, such as those left after waxing.

The concentration of bacteria in the early days is not enough to cause serious illness, so importance of sponge replacement if we want to keep using it.

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If we do not change the sponge regularly, skin diseases such as folliculitis may occur.

How often should we update it?

In that 1993 study, it was not about changing the sponge, but about regularly disinfecting it with bleach, at a concentration of 10%. It certainly proved to be very effective. However, it is important to note that this was useful because the luffa is a natural material. sponges Synthetic materials they will be damaged if you try to clean them with bleach. Therefore, it is safest, first, to wring them out and store them in places where they dry quickly, and secondly, to change the sponge regularly.

recommended to do every 3 or 4 weeksalthough it also depends on how we use it and the look it has. If we see that it is very damaged or slippery, we must replace it sooner. And, of course, if we have several people at home, we should have one for each.

It should be noted that all this applies to bath sponges. When we talk about kitchen sponges, better known as washcloths, they should be changed much more regularly, about once a week. This is where a personal decision about our relationship with the environment comes into play. The washcloth has no choice but to use it. However, bath sponges yes they are consumable and if we throw them out on time, that means a lot of waste that, unless they’re made from biodegradable materials, ends up polluting the environment.

This is where we decide how much we should continue to use the sponge. If you finally decide to do this, seriously, change it regularly.

Source: Hiper Textual

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