How you should use the public toilets if you do not want to get sick

You are in a movie theater, An airport, a train station, some large stores or any other place you can think of that does not include your house. You feel the call of nature and as you do not want your kidneys to end up exploding, which Grandpa Simpson, you decide to go to the public toilets. A slightly frightening option, depending on where you are, because sometimes the hygiene in these places it is, at least, doubtful. You do gut heart.

Nobody likes public toilets, it is a fact. Position yourself sufficiently away from the cup so that it does not touch any part of your body, while you juggle to keep your balance or -if you are a woman- throwing away your purse or any other belongings, it is not the most comfortable of the world. But do these sites really have so many bacteria How do the legends tell? The journalist Melinda Wenner He wanted to know the truth, that we already know that he is out there, and he has made a investigation asking different experts in the field.

Choose the extremes

That's what a study that was done in the University of San Diego, California, in 1995. Apparently, in men's bathrooms where there were several compartments, it was replenished with Mayassiduity the role of those who were in the center (the 60% of the total, and the study lasted ten weeks).

It is practically impossible to catch a sexually transmitted infection in a public toilet. Unless you're maintaining relationships in it

Assuming that all bathrooms are cleaned with the same frequencyIt is clear that it does not take much to conclude that the positions at the extremes will be cleaner, because fewer people enter them. The eye also does not cheat, so another way is to bet on the one that, at first glance, seems cleaner.

The seat

We said before, it is unlikely that you decide support your buttocks in a new bathroom and, apparently, not very hygienic. It's instinct survival. But is it necessary to do so much juggling? "As far as I know, nobody has acquired a ETS on the toilet seat, unless you were having sex in that seat, "he explains. Abigail Salyers, former president of the American Society of Microbiology.

In other words, for something like this to happen the germs They would have to travel to your genital or urinary tract and enter your body through an open cut or a sore, which does not seem very probable. Of course, it is advisable that you do not touch your face while you are in the bathroom, because the germs Yes they can enter your nose or mouth through your hands. And if you're a little apprehensive, you can clean the seat with a little paper with alcohol, or, something that you have surely seen or done: cover the cup with toilet paper, although try not to touch the toilet in excess while you perform the operation.

Squatting: yes or no

Most women do it, according to the investigations, to avoid exposure to germs and urine. Some doctors are concerned that this position may hinder the total relaxation of the pelvic floor, which could pose a risk, as apparently women they crouch they take more time in urinating and they do not release all the urine, which could increase the risk of urinary tract infections (although they claim that these risks are very small). If you crouch on top of the cup, be civic and clean after finishing.

Wash your hands

This is fundamental. Inevitably, if you have touched something, your hands will have bacteria. We do not want to scare you, but a 2011 study he found fecal bacteria, staphylococci and streptococci on bathroom doors, door handles and soap dispensers. Ñam. And, even if you wash your hands, sometimes you do not do it correctly: the parts between your fingers are also important, and clean yourself for at least 15 seconds.

Think twice before opening the door just wash your hands or turn off the tap, they are areas that accumulate many bacteria Hand dryer or paper towel? Apparently, according to studies, paper wins. In a 2012 study, researchers in Australia and China They concluded that, compared to dryers, paper towels "are less contaminated". When leaving, although it sounds exaggerated, try to open the door with your elbow, hip or shoulder, or even with the paper towel that you just used to avoid having to do hand contact.

Even so…

Do not worry too much. It is very unlikely that you will get sick for visiting a public bathroom, no matter how bad it smells or hostel germs. They also have them, after all, other areas that we frequent like offices, schools or stores. Wash your hands when finished, period. If you leave bacteria in the bathroom, instead of take them with you, you will not get sick.