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dermatologist washing legs

People still aren't washing their legs in the shower

Showering is one of those things that you figure everyone has a handle on past the age of ten. It's a pretty simple process that becomes automatic before people are even old enough to need deodorant. You stand under running water, add soap to whatever item you're washing with and then commence to washing. Throw in shampoo, conditioner and maybe a razor a few times a week if you're feeling fancy and you've just completed a process that takes about five minutes.

But there seems to be a question that pops up every so often when it's discovered that in some households, washing your legs isn't part of the showering process. People's reactions range from shock on why someone would skip washing their legs, to confusion on why someone would bother washing them.

The argument for those that consistently skip leg day in the shower is that the soap from their upper body runs down their legs, therefore negating a need to clean them.


While those on the other side of the debate ask why would people skip half of their bodies, pointing out the need to remove dead skin. But should we be washing our legs in the shower? Dermatologists attempt to clear up the confusion by weighing in on the hotly debated and entertaining topic.

@joeuk

TikTok · joe_co_uk

The original debate on whether people should wash their legs or not in the shower started in 2019, maybe as entertainment during the height of the pandemic. Conor Arpwel, posted a since deleted poll on Twitter, with a simple yes or no questions, "do you wash your legs when you take a shower?" Clearly people had some big feelings because the poll went massively viral and has sparked these offshoot debates since.

"So if you're not washing your legs in the shower and you don't have a bath, when the hell do you wash your legs you filthy animals, haha? Or where," one person replies.

But the lack of taking a wash cloth or loofa filled with soap to your lower extremities didn't end with random people on the internet. Taylor Swift admitted that she didn't wash her legs because she considers shaving them to be enough to consider them clean.

Dermatologists seem to be split on this one, and turns out there's good reason for it. Angela Lamb, M.D., director of the Westside Mount Sinai Dermatology Faculty Practice tells Katie Couric, “Sadly, there has not been a lot of research performed on personal hygiene, so many of the recommendations are anecdotal." Though she does say that you don't need to wash your legs daily, only if they're visibly soiled or overly sweaty.

While Dr. Shari Sperling, founder of Sperling Dermatology shares with The Manual, "Yes, you should wash your legs. They are a part of your body that should be cleansed just like other areas of the body. While the debate discusses excessive washing, etc., there is no need to scrub and use harsh cleansers. You want to avoid that to prevent skin irritation. However, gentle washing daily is okay!”

@drcharlesmd1

Shower the RIGHT way! #skincare #doctor #lifehack

Since there isn't much research on the topic, and the method of washing one's body can vary greatly from person to person, the jury may remain out for a while. But one dermatologist gives a pretty good reason why you should at least physically wash your legs every once in a while.

“Too little washing can lead to a condition called retention hyperkeratosis where a thick layer of built-up skin cells and dust accumulates on the skin over time," dermatologist, Dr. Anne Allen reveals to The Manual.

So should you wash your legs in the shower? The answer seems to be, you don't technically have to but it wouldn't hurt if you did.