These Are What Will Happen If You Don’t Wash Your Sheets
With a million things to do in a day, from making it to the gym before work to squeezing in some wine and Netflix before bed, who has time to make the bed every day, let alone wash their sheets every week?
If you’re guilty of letting too much time pass before washing your bedding, you might want to reconsider skipping that chore. Because if you don’t, and you find yourself sleeping on dirty sheets night after night, you’re going to have to deal with some seriously icky side effects.
Acne breakouts and irritated skin
Pass out with your makeup on too many nights in a row? You’re doing a disservice to your face (think dry skin, early signs of aging, inflammation, and —fun! — infections) and your bed. “Not only will you get stains everywhere, but bacteria can start to build up in the fibers, which can cause annoying whiteheads and patchy pimples, or exacerbate already existing acne — even if you have cleaned your skin,” says Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi, director of Capital Laser and Skin Care. Tanzi suggests washing your face and body with a good cleanser before bed in addition to washing your sheets every seven to 10 days.
“In addition to attracting bacteria, dirty sheets rub against your skin while you sleep — and that friction can lead to skin irritation,” says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a NYC-based dermatologist. Self-treating with greasy ointments or heavy creams can actually add to the problem, because those products are harder to absorb and will transfer to your linens, where they’ll stay even longer, putting you at risk for more bacteria. If you need to treat a skin condition like eczema, Zeichner advises speaking to your dermatologist about medications that won’t rub off and can be quickly (and fully) absorbed, so as to not worsen the germy wasteland that is your bed.
Bad allergies from dust mites
Do you sneeze and get itchy eyes during the night? You may be suffering from allergies! Causes of allergies can range from pollen and dust to actual dust mites living in your bedsheets. These dust mites, while microscopic, could cause serious cases of allergies and asthma.
Harmful effects of sleeping with your pets
Sleeping with your pets might be cute and comfortable, but there are some risks involved that you should be aware of. Because some pets carry ticks, it’s important to get rid of these bugs since they can cause Lyme disease. Pet fur could also attract dust mites to live in your bedding.
If you decide to keep your 4-legged friends on your bed, be sure to wash your sheets regularly and always maintain their health and hygiene.
An itchy scalp
Warm and moist pillow covers can be a great home for fungi known as dermatophytes. These fungi cause itchy bald spots on the scalp, otherwise known as ringworm of the scalp. While you can easily seek treatment from medical professionals, prevention is key. To reduce the chances of having an irritating sensation on your head, make sure to wash your pillows and covers.
Pink eye reinfection
If you’ve had conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, your sheets are also compromised. This is due to bacteria present in the bedding, especially pillowcases. If you or someone who shares a bed with you has recently had a conjunctivitis episode, wash your sheets and bedding with hot water to reduce the chances of re-infection.
Now that you know what happens if you don’t wash your bedsheets, you may be asking yourself how often you need to do it. To kill germs, use hot water to wash your sheets and bedding. Do this at least once a week and you should be good to go! What about you? How often do you wash your bedsheets?
Let us know in the comments!