health

One in five women wear their underwear for DAYS raising the risk of nasty bugs


ONE in five women don’t change their underwear daily, some going for days, a survey has found.

Experts say it’s the perfect environment for nasty bugs to thrive.

It's generally considered normal to change your knickers every day

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It’s generally considered normal to change your knickers every dayCredit: Alamy

The survey of more than 1,000 women by The Derm Review – a skincare platform – found that 21 per cent wear underwear for “multiple days”.

A staggering one in ten women wear the same knickers for three days or more.

It means the dirty habit is far more common than you’d imagine, with friends and colleagues picking their pants out of the laundry basket.

Reasons can include saving on laundry time and costs or environmental reasons. Others may consider it a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

More than half (55 per cent) wear their pants to bed after a full day in them – over 55s being most guilty.

Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of women said they don’t change their washing and changing after exercising, most common in under 25s.

Typically bras are washed after two to three wears.

But the study found that one in three (33 per cent) of women wear their bras for longer than advised, with this figure highest in those between the ages of 35 and 44 (38 per cent).

While there are no rules around hygiene habits, experts have advised you should change your underwear every day, and take it off at night.

Responding to the findings of their survey, Elle Macleman, Skincare Biochemist, said: “It might be tempting to cut down the amount of laundry by wearing the same underwear for more than a day.

“But the health risks of infections, irritation, abnormal discharge, and skin breakouts should make you think twice before re-wearing your underwear for multiple days.

“Those wearing their underwear to bed are potentially heightening the risk of thrush, vaginitis and bacterial vaginosis.

“While, those not changing and washing their underwear soon after exercising could see a noticeable increase of body odor and the potential for breakouts, or disruption of the vaginal microbiome.”

Thrush is an extremely itchy and sometimes sore rash around the vulva caused by a yeast infection.

It can be avoided by always wearing cotton undies and sleeping in loose clothing at night, as the bacteria like to grow in warm, moist conditions.

Meanwhile, bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a infection that commonly causes a strong, fishy smell.

The causes include poor hygiene – although too much perfumed soap or bubble baths can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the vagina, too.

If these bugs aren’t enough to put you off, consider that your odour can become stronger if you wear the same underwear too much (even if you don’t notice yourself!).

A previous survey has found a similar proportion of men do not change their pants every day – 22 per cent.

The research by OnBuy, of almost 2,800 people, found re-wearers tend to sniff their underwear to see if it is too dirty to put back on.

Dr Nichola Cosgrove, skincare specialist at Natura Emporium, told Metro.co.uk: “We have naturally occurring bacteria in our genitals that will happily stay at their normal levels as long as we use the correct hygiene products and correctly fitting underwear, wash ourselves after a particularly sweating activity etc.

“Obviously bacteria transfers throughout the day.

“By not changing your underwear every day you will start to have an accumulation of bacteria like Escherichia coli, staphylococcus, streptococcus and many others that are perfectly normal and useful when they remain at their required levels.

“However because they thrive in a warm and humid environment, they will start to multiply out of control.”

She claimed the effects “can be as simple as a bad odour, a rash, excess itching, to full on yeast infections, urinary tract infections and potentially life threatening staph infections”.

Doctor reveals the 7 mistakes you’re making when it comes to your vagina

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