8 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Stop Taking Showers

Health | Did You Know

8 Things That Happen To Your Body When You Stop Taking Showers

We've all had weeks during which we skipped taking a shower for a day or four.

Sure, you may have started to notice an unpleasant odor, especially if you're someone who sweats more than the average person, but it's not really the end of the world.

However, if you've considered going longer than a few days without cleaning your body, then it's time to scrap that thought because body odor will be the least of your worries.

Huffington Post created an eye-opening video that answers a question many of us have often pondered about: What happens to your body when you stop showering?


Well, the answer is gross and slightly terrifying.

There's a reason why people in the United States bathe as much as they do. The moment a person quits cleaning their body regularly, a lot of disgusting things start to happen, leading to some serious health complications.

Here are eight things that happen to your body if you stop showering for a month:

1. You'll stink, but not for long


After a few days of not washing your body, you'll start to smell. The odor is created by the "bacteria feeding on oily secretions from your sweat and sebaceous glands," according to Mercola.com.

However, after a while the bacteria on your skin will be more balanced and you'll stop smelling bad.

"At first I did smell bad, especially as I went without deodorant," James Hamblin, an Atlantic writer who took on a no-shower challenge, explained. "But after a while, the idea goes, your ecosystem reaches a steady state, and you stop smelling bad. I mean, you don't smell like rosewater or Axe Body Spray, but you don't smell like B.O., either. You just smell like a person."

2. You'll be greasy and dirty

Not only will you smell bad for a while, you will also start to appear really greasy and dirty. You'll feel your skin produce its own natural moisturizer, hence the oiliness, and you'll also notice a buildup of excess dead skin cells.

3. You'll be a germ machine

Your skin is already full of pathogens that occur naturally as well as those that we've come into contact with during our day to day activities. While some of these organisms are good for the skin, there are some harmful bacteria that also lurk on the surface, unless you wash them off.

These bacteria can end up making you sick when they enter your body through your nose, ears, or mouth.

4. You're at a risk for skin infections

Everyday Health

Since your skin is now a reliable breeding ground for bacteria and fungi, you risk a chance of developing infections. Also, the extra sebum on your face will cause acne or puss bumps.

"While infection may not be a concern in the beginning, carrying a large load of bacteria on the skin can pose a problem if the skin barrier were to become compromised in some way. i.e. through a cut or scrape," said Dr. Lauren Ploch, a dermatologist.

It gets even worse...

5. You'll develop dermatitis neglecta

After going for a long period of time without washing your body, brown scaly, wart-like plaques will start to grow on your skin. Known as dermatitis neglecta, the condition occurs when there's too much sweat, sebum, dirt and dead skin cells on the skin.

6. Your groin area will suffer

Be prepared for rashes as well as a condition called interigo, which is a yeast and inflammation combination that is characterized by itchiness and a burning sensation.

7. You'll have fungus between your toes

Natural footgear

Like your groin area, your toes will also experience some complications. Fungus and dead skin cells will create scum and infections in between your toes.

8. Your head will be itchy

Your scalp will be riddled with dandruff, causing it to feel very itchy. Additionally, the heavy oil from the scalp combined with other pollutants will cause your hair to be matted.

Keep in mind that this does not mean that you have to shower every single day. In fact, excessive showering is discouraged by experts because, unbeknownst to us, some of the products we use tend to be harsh on our skins. Over-washing also strips our skin of healthy bacteria and oils.

Basically, moderation is key. Taking a shower every two to three days should suffice for most people.

What's the longest you went without a shower?

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.