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Prof Joas B Rugemalila

Personal Hygiene 1
 Definition of hygiene
 Conditions or practices conducive to
health maintenance at the personal
level (life essentials ~ air, water, food, +
shelter and recreation; quantity and
1. Health protection and promotion
2. Disease prevention (at primordial,
primary, secondary, and tertiary levels)

Personal Hygiene 2
1. Access to safe and adequate water
2. Adopting body cleanliness practices
3. Protection (shelter) against injurious
4. Access to an adequate balanced diet
5. Safe environment (waste disposal)

Personal Hygiene 3
Skin Cleanliness
 Regular baths with water and soap (detergent)
 Removes dirt and dying epidermis, and thereby
 Unblocks pores of sweat and sebaceous glands
 Frequency of baths determined by
1. Sweating levels
2. Environmental temperatures
3. Physical exertion
 At least 2 baths in tropical humid climates
 Dry baths recommended during
1. Freezing temperatures
2. Severe illnesses
3. First 2 days after birth
 Lotions/creams may be used to moisturize skin

Personal Hygiene 4
Skin Cleanliness
 Areas requiring to be kept dry
1. Armpits
2. Groins
3. Perineum
4. Areas between toes
5. Nail beds
 Skin cleanliness prevents scabies, louse
infestations, typhus, relapsing fever,
actinomycoses and leprosy

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Skin Hairy Areas

 Areas include
 Scalp, nostrils, beard, armpit, and pubis
 Should be washed and dried at every bath
 Scalp hair kept long should be
 Washed at least once monthly
 Combed twice daily
 Hair oils, shaving creams and after shave lotions are mostly
 Keep short hair for easy maintenance
 Shaved hair does not decompose easily
 May block toilet closets
 Should be either buried or burnt
 Hair hygiene prevents foul smell, lice infestations, and fungus

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Body Orifices
 prevention of neonatal conjuctivitis and
 Wash with water and soap at least BD
 Irrigate with normal saline/water if
exposed to non-penetrating injurious
 In pops endemic for STIs, apply silver
nitrate drops to eyes of all newborns
 Use sun glasses for protection against too
strong lights and reflections
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 Wash external parts at every bath
 Clean canal regularly with mounted moist
swab to remove drying wax and loose
foreign bodies
 Hygiene prevents
1. Accumulation of wax and foreign
2. Impairment of hearing
3. External and internal ear infections

Personal Hygiene 8

 Blow/wipe nostrils at every bath to

remove discharge, dust, crusts, and
relieve congestion
 Avoid picking nostrils with sharp nailed
fingers to avoid damaging superficial
blood vessels and precipitating epistaxis
 Use mask in dusty environments
 Hygiene prevents rhinitis

Personal Hygiene 9
 Brush teeth, gums and tongue at least twice daily
 Gargle several times after each brushing session
 Use of dental creams is optional
 Flossing/medicated gargles on professional advice
 Commonly used medicated gargles
1. Hydrogen peroxide
2. Potassium permanganate
3. Mint
 Hygiene removes food debris thereby preventing
1. Foul smell
2. Dental caries
3. Gingivitis
4. Candidiasis
5. Tonsillitis

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Female Genitalia

 Wash at each bath/change of sanitary towels

 Observe cleaning direction of anterior to posterior
 Avoids spreading feacal borne infections to
urethral/vulval openings
 Prompt change of baby nappies for similar reasons
 Intra-vaginal sanitary towels not recommended to avoid
toxic shock
 Microbiscides & condoms recommended for unsafe sex
 Hygiene prevents
1. UTI
2. Vaginitis
3. STIs

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Male Genitalia
 At every bath retract prepuce and wash all
penis parts ~ urethral orifice, glans penis,
 Circumcision recommended if prepuce has
pin-hole opening retaining dirt and/or urine
 Use of condoms recommended for unsafe sex
 Genitalia hygiene essential for prevention of
1. UTI
2. Balanitis
3. STIs

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Penis Parts Requiring Cleaning

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 Wash at every bath and after defaecation

 Females should observe anterior to posterior
cleaning direction
 After washing dry whole perineum
preferably using absorbent disposable paper
 Hygiene essential for prevention of
1. UTI in females

2. Fungal infections

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 Wash with running water and soap

1. At every bath

2. After defecation, micturition, and soiling

3. Before handling food and drinks for

oneself or others
 After washing use tissue/absorbent paper or
personal towel to wipe dry
 Cut and trim nail ends
 Long nails facilitate dirt accumulation &
disease transmission to oneself and others

Personal Hygiene 18
Hands (contd)
 Use soft and or heavy duty gloves when
handling potentially infective and or sharp
 Hand hygiene prevents
1. Penetrative injuries and cuts

2. Hand bacterial infections

3. Fungal infections of nails beds and finger


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Hands (cont)
 Hand hygiene prevents
4. Parasitoses: whipworms, ascariasis,
schistosomiasis, hookworm etc
5. Oral faecal transmitted infections to
others: typhoid, polio, hepatitis B, etc

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 Wash/scrub with water and soap at every
bath and after risky exposure
 Wipe dry after washing with special care to
nail beds and toe webs
 Use appropriate protective footwear/gear for
potential exposure to
 Sharp or cutting objects
 Infection transmission
 Cut regularly nail ends
 Use dry socks and change same regularly

Personal Hygiene 21
Feet (contd)
 Feet hygiene prevents
1. Foul odors
2. In-growing nails to soft tissues
3. Penetrating injuries and cuts
4. Fungal infections of nail beds and toe
5. Skin penetrating infections: hookworm,

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Personal Clothing

 Clothing and bed linen

 Most cultures require persons to be decently
and appropriately dressed
 Appropriate dressing/clothing also
determined by
1. Age

2. Sex

3. Climate

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Personal Clothing
 Should be cleaned appropriately and regularly
 Water and soap

 Ironed, or

 Dry cleaning

 Steaming &sterilization may be specially

recommended to control lice, scabies,
 Hygiene required for prevention of

 Above infections

Personal Hygiene 24

 Sports and games

 Affordable access to
 Games requiring only mental engagement eg
board games
 Sports requiring physical indulgence
 Prevention of
1. Mental distress
2. Metabolic diseases eg type 2 diabetes mellitus
3. Nutritional disorders eg obesity
4. Hypercholesteremia

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Personal Hygiene Other Topics

1. Adequate balanced diet

2. Waste disposal
3. Housing

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