Paying attention is, I think, something that requires diligence and practice. An area of major importance that this needs to be practiced regularly is personal care. Have you ever noticed that as people age, a certain percentage gets very, very, very relaxed about their appearance. I understand the reason for this. People start to put more value into that which is truly important, and what may have been a shallow more vain focus, dissipates into a settled state of contentment. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of long term laziness that simply gets more amplified as people age. Sometimes, however, in the more belligerent folk; it becomes a state of total indifference.
It is this state of indifference, wherein some people get a little too relaxed, that is my focus today. What am I talking about? I’m talking about snake skin. I’m talking about hygiene and social standards; and in all honesty, this isn’t limited to the aging.
First, let’s talk about snake skin, as I’m sure, no doubt, you were wondering about that statement. Nothing is more disgusting than to see a person who appears to be shedding skin like a snake. Yes, I said it – flaking dead skin in and around the ears; crusty dead skin around the sides of the nose. It is simply disgraceful, and usually when I see this, the person has an odor as well. This is a sign that the person does not wash or clean themselves well.
This is just as bad as seeing someone with eye boogies, or with a dry scalp problem, who’s been scratching and digging it all up. Then there are flakes in their hair or at the edge of their hairline. It’s repulsive to see. This is simply a matter of washing properly, and frequently.
Being on the cusp of the baby boomer generation, I can relate to the more relaxed and settled attitude, however, that’s for within the home. If you are so comfortable or even busy at home, that you decide to skip showering for more than a day, you should know and realize that leaving your home is not an option until you fit that well-needed shower in.
Being older does not excuse anyone from common standards of hygiene and etiquette. Then again, some of these young bucks could stand to get some standards too. Deodorant is never an ” option.” Its mandatory if you want to live in society. Mountain hermits have an ” option,” but everyone else needs to adhere to the basic hygiene standard.
So if you are a person with either excessively active sweat glands, or are seriously obese, or both; you need to put in extra effort to maintain yourself and be clean. This may mean more frequent washing, and or additional products to assist in reaching areas that are more closed, or lacking air flow.
For instance, as a therapist I have seen fungus on people with large stomachs, or women with large breasts. I’m not referring to the fungus being on the stomach, but beneath it. Likewise, the fungus isn’t on the breast, but beneath them in the crease and on the surrounding skin. I’m not referring to women with implants. If you are a woman with large breasts, and have been noticing a redness, experiencing itching and irritation in the crease area under the breast, you have a fungus. Likewise, people can also get a fungal growth between the legs in the crease of the groin and the legs. All of these areas are subject to fungus because they are closed in, and there is a lack of adequate ventilation and air flow. Being overweight contributes greatly to these sorts of conditions, which require more frequent cleansing and even some powder with baking soda to help maintain dryness in those areas.
Additionally, I have noticed many clients with a skin condition known as Tinea Versicolor; also known as Pityriasis Versicolor.
This is a skin condition in which the skin develops splotches of discoloration; much like a tree with a fungus has. That is because Tinea Versicolor is a fungus too. If you are developing fungus on your skin; this is a sign of an immune system imbalance. You do not want to ignore this, because immune imbalances cause diseases like cancer, which is also a fungus. Therefore, it is imperative that you begin to examine your dietary habits, and make strides at moving from a highly acidic diet, into a more alkaline one.
There is however, an over-the-counter cream, but it is not a natural choice. Any anti-fungal cream will at the very least, control the itching, but I cannot say that those will eliminate the condition. There are also several natural topical remedies to treat and kill fungus.
Tea tree oil, if applied regularly to clean, dry skin in the affected area, with eliminate a fungus. The tea tree oil will eliminate all of those fungal related issues, but the areas affected must be kept clean and dry. Garlic oil is also effective against fungus, as well as apple cider vinegar. Those are the best natural remedies I’m aware of that will eliminate a fungus problem. The tea tree oil can even be used in the scalp to help a dry scalp issue. These natural products and the ones mentioned in the link below, will treat the condition simply and easily; however, bear in mind that those treatments are topical only, and you will still need to address the real issue of your dietary habits and your impaired immune system.
As for the flaky skin in or around the ear or nose can be addressed in two ways. A strong facial scrub like St. Ives will slough those dead skin cells off. Depending on how severe the flaking is, washing at least 2-3 times per week with the scrub should keep it under control, but just make sure you vigorously scrub the area with the scrub, and use a good moisturizer.
One of the worse personal hygiene problems I have encountered is B.O., or body odor. I was in the public library one day, and there was a boy, about 15 sitting across from me; but one computer terminal over. He stunk so badly that not only did I smell him, but the guy next to him actually had to tell him that he needed to take a shower because he smelled so bad. He immediately denied having any odor, so I joined the guy who told him and and confirmed it. Now, in part , I thought it was necessary to confirm this, because this was an African American boy, and the man who told him was either Caucasian. I think a large part of his denial and disbelief that it was true, stemmed from the fact that it was a Caucasian man telling him this. Since I am multinational, but have brown skin, I confirmed it, so that he would realize the statement was true.
To combat heavy odor problems like those typical of teenage boys, a mixture of baking soda and shaving cream is very effective. You squirt the shaving cream onto your wash cloth and spread it to cover all corners. Then sprinkle a generous amount of baking soda on top, and spread it from corner to corner as well, rubbing it into the shaving cream while spreading it around the entire cloth. Then wash all of the more enclosed or private areas, including areas that may require deodorant. Rinse your wash cloth and soap it up to a good lather on the entire cloth and wash with that. The baking soda and shaving cream will rinse off with the soap, and the odor issue will be washed down the drain with it.
As mentioned above, washing and using deodorant is crucial, but even more important for any sort of social or business communications; is good dental hygiene. As a manual therapist and body worker, I have to deal with clients one on one, in a rather personal way, since my job is to release their pain and assist in facilitating healing. There is nothing as disgusting as having to be in close proximity with a person/patient who doesn’t brush their teeth. It’s just nasty! You wouldn’t believe the number of people who have the nerve to come to the pain clinic where I work; to receive therapy, in this condition.
Not only is it tremendously inconsiderate, it’s just nauseating to have to be in a small enclosed room with that person, doing therapy to try to eliminate their pain, when their personal hygiene is so offensive, it’s causing the therapist pain. First of all, the rooms are not ventilated, and secondly, the most talkative people seem to always be the ones with the nasty looking teeth and foul breath. I had one a week or so ago, that even had the white crusty ring around his lips, apparently from some measure of drooling while he slept the night before.
Foul breath can also be the result of smoking, drinking, and even the result of a compromised immune system. Improper gut health will tell on you in this way.
Even dehydration can affect the way someone’s breath smells. I have encountered people whose breath smelled like a garbage dumpster (literally); and they were several feet away from me at the time. The tongue is a carrier of a lot of bacteria, viruses and germs, which plays a large part in producing the odors in the mouth.
While I realize that people buy generic products to save money, this is not an area of personal care that thriftiness should be applied to. I see this quite often with older people who use a toothpaste for more sensitivity, but these toothpastes lacks any real, effective breath freshener. That issue is further complicated by the fact that many people have not been taught the importance of brushing the tongue. Depending on one’s dietary habits, odors can come from both the tongue and the gut. Gut health is such a crucial thing. It took me more than half of my life to figure out this important fact, and there is still a large segment of the population that hasn’t gotten it yet, despite the vast amount of information available. If the immune system is compromised, the body is full of toxins and bacteria, and this can manifest in the mouth as bad odor.
Even health oriented people can have an issue like this. A former boyfriend of mine had very strong breath because he was constantly eating raw garlic. The garlic was so strong in his system, it was literally coming out of his pores in the same way the smell of cigarettes is all over smokers.
There are several ways to naturally counteract problems like these. Chewing on raw parsley will eliminate strong odors from heavily odiferous foods like garlic. Another natural and healthy approach is to take liquid chlorophyll. The chlorophyll is what makes plants green. It has many benefits for the body; and absorbing or nullifying odors is one of them.
If odor is a problem, this is a great solution because it’s like the chlorophyll cleans you internally, thereby killing any odors you may be producing externally. This includes and is not limited to halitosis (bad breath), body odors, and even odors from flatulence (gas).
Another effective treatment for the oral cavity is oil pulling. Oil pulling is something I recently learned about, and is a treatment people used to do prior to the advent of toothpaste in the 1930’s. This treatment is explained fully here.
Taking care of your personal hygiene is not only considerate of others, but shows respect for yourself as well as others. Remember, your appearance and personal hygiene says a lot about you and leaves an impression of who you are to those who come into contact with you. Using some of these tips may improve the overall perception and help you to leave a more positive impression on people.