Bacteria from fecal matter and other disgusting things are some of the reasons why you should always wash your new clothes before wearing them.
It turns out that washing garments that have just left the store could actually be more beneficial than you think. According to dermatologists, doing so is definitely recommended because by the time clothes reach the end of their journey, from being made until bought and worn, the garment has already passed through many hands and many places. Therefore, many different types of bacteria and dirt accumulate on it.
Sure, you have never had an allergic reaction to that new sweater brushing your neck. However, no one is exempt from a contaminated garment, especially people with sensitive skin. "It is best to avoid contact with the stiffeners on clothes so they look prettier and more appealing in stores. This includes dyes and other chemicals, that can wash off and fade in the washer." Here are other reasons why you should always wash your new clothes before wearing them:
Wearing contaminated clothes, straight out of the store, means that the risk of getting an allergic reaction or dermatitis increases, forcing you to visit a dermatologist, who will have to assess the injuries or lesions. It would even be appropriate to perform some epicutaneous tests to detect which product you are allergic to.
What about shoes and coats?
According to dermatologists, it's best to stick to washing clothes that will be in direct contact with the skin.
Peeling and other injuries
Exposure to these bacteria may cause erythema or red skin, pruritus, fluid-filled injuries, or peeling of the skin. People could even get gynecological conditions caused by wearing new, unwashed underwear. That is to say, the external female sexual organs could get a fungal or bacterial infection.
Bacteria of fecal origin
In a study in which microbiologist Philip M. Tierno analyzed blouses, pants, and underwear from different stores, he found that bacteria are part of the skin's microbiota, such as staphylococci, vaginal, and fecal microorganisms. When we try on clothes, these microorganisms come into contact with our body and could trigger an infection.
"The risk of getting a serious infection is very low, but there is a small risk that can increase if we have skin wounds or the case of immunocompromised people," warns María del Carmen Romero, expert in Microbiology and Professor at the International University of La Rioja (UNIR). "That is why it is advisable to wash clothes before releasing it. We should even avoid direct contact when we try it on."
Our skin is also exposed to lice, especially if what we are buying are hats and caps, even if there is no previous skin problem.
How you should wash your clothes
It's important to bear in mind what kills bacteria isn't a long wash cycle, but the temperature of the water. Pathogenic bacteria are able to survive and reproduce at temperatures between 68 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The best advice is therefore to do the pre-washing at about 104 degrees. If the garment instructions advice against subjecting the garment to this temperature, then use a disinfectant detergent or a splash of white vinegar.
Let your clothes dry in the sun, and if you could generally do that with your clothes, do it! Avoid the pain of paying the doctor a visit out of laziness. When you wash, try to wash as many garments as possible and do not waste water!
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