Everyone has their own shower routine and preferences. Some people insist on showering in the morning, while others prefer to get clean at night. Some think showering should be an everyday endeavor, while others say rinsing off a few times a week is good enough. But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), how necessary it is for you to shower and when may depend on what you were doing beforehand. More specifically, the agency warns that not taking a shower after going to one particular place may actually put your health at risk and leave you vulnerable to various diseases. Read on to find out when you should never, ever skip your shower.
The CDC says you should never skip a shower after being outdoors because of ticks.
If you've been spending time outside, you'll want to take a shower as soon as possible after you come in. The CDC says that taking a shower within at least two hours of coming indoors has been "shown to reduce your risk of getting Lyme disease and may be effective in reducing the risk of other tickborne disease." According to the agency, showering can help wash off unattached ticks from and it also can be a time in which you can do a full-body tick check. You should be checking in and around your hair and ears, under your arms, inside your belly button, around your waist, between your legs, and on the back of your knees, per the CDC.
This is especially important if you've been in a tick-infested area.
While it's a good idea to never skip a shower after being outdoors, you'll especially want to adhere to this safety guidance when coming in from a tick-infested area. According to the CDC, "ticks live in grassy, brushy, or wooded areas," but they can also be found on animals. "So spending time outside camping, gardening, or hunting could bring you in close contact with ticks," the agency says. The CDC adds that many people actually end up getting ticks just by being in their own yard or neighborhood.
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Ticks are most likely to be found in the Northeastern part of the U.S.
Some parts of the country are more prone to ticks as well. According to the CDC's Tick Bite Data Tracker, the Northeast sees the most emergency department visits for tick bites, with 108 per 100,000 visits being tick-related. This area includes the following states: Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.
Getting bitten by a tick can make you vulnerable to numerous diseases.
According to the CDC, a tick bite can lead to several different types of tickborne diseases like Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colorado tick fever, Tularemia, Anaplasmosis, and Powassan virus infection. Fortunately, the agency also says that many tickborne diseases can have similar signs and symptoms, so they're easier to spot. These include fever, chills, aches, pains, and rash.
"Early recognition and treatment of the infection decreases the risk of serious complications. So see your doctor immediately if you have been bitten by a tick and experience any of the symptoms described here," the CDC advises.