Excess hygiene and resistance to antibiotics

Did you know that the number of people who get seriously ill and even die cause of antibiotic resistance is every year greater throughout the world? In this article, we tell you how excess hygiene influences in this circumstance.

Resistance to antibiotics and excess hygiene

The excess of personal and household cleaning could have an impact on our immune system.

Before diving directly into this subject it is important that we conclude what exactly is the excess of hygiene. The reality is that this term is difficult to define but, in general, it is considered an excess of personal hygiene:

  • Wash hands consistently.
  • Give several showers a day without justification.

This circumstance could cause our immune system loses functionality, that is, for example, the skin loses its protective barrier and is exposed to all kinds of bacteria.

And what happens with home hygiene? The constant cleaning with the same products could generate a habituation on the part of the pathogens and therefore, they could develop a resistance to them.

What is resistance to antibiotics?

Consuming antibiotics without a prescription can increase our resistance to them.

Resistance to antibiotics occurs when they stop acting against microorganisms, ie Pathogens "get used" to medications.

Generally, this situation It is produced by a habitual use of antibiotics (and even abuse of them). In some way, the bacteria lose sensitivity and to fight them, it is necessary to resort to increasingly aggressive substances.

In recent years, they have appeared mutations of microorganisms that are increasingly resistant to antibiotics. For example, in 2016, the newspaper El País published the story of a woman in the United States who suffered a stronger urine infection resistant to the antibiotic in existence.

The Department of Health of the United Kingdom requested an analysis of the situation of resistance to antibiotics. The same, known as Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, lasted two years and from it some interesting data can be extracted:

  1. Drug-resistant infections are on the rise.
  2. Around 50,000 people die each year in Europe and the United States due to infections resistant to antibiotics.
  3. At least 700,000 people die around the world from bacterial infections, AIDS or tuberculosis due to this problem.
  4. Resistance to medication would complicate routine surgeries and minor long-term infections.

We have established that resistance to antibiotics is a risk problem that endangers public health throughout the world But how does it relate to excess hygiene?

Relationship between excess hygiene and drug resistance