San Francisco's Other Crappy Problem
According to a comprehensive poll determining America's filthiest metro areas, the City by the Bay rounded out the top five, with the worst personal hygiene when it came to residents' number of weekly baths, how often they replace their bed sheets, and even change their underwear. (SFist)
Clearly, even in the age of health and medical awareness, the importance of personal hygiene and its effect on others around is underestimated in the Bay Area. There seems to be no conclusive reason why well-established residents don't follow some basic hygiene practices.
However, the reactions of people online gives insight. One individual cites finances as an excuse saying, "I think some of this may be due to not everyone owning a washer & dryer. It's a hassle and costly to go to a laundry mat every week. Sometimes, I will wear an article of clothing a second time if it's still clean just so I can save those quarters."
Yet another individual explains weather as a reason for not showering frequently. In an online comment, he says "I think a lot of it comes down to the weather. In humid places like Houston or Florida you need to shower daily (some even shower more than once a day). Here in the Bay Area, you can go days without really sweating. Some people are probably pushing it too far, but it's not as if we are encountering smelly people in public everywhere."
While dermatologist opinions vary in regards to the frequency at which people should bathe, the average conclusion is that bathing every 2 days fights the bacteria, dirt, and body odor. However, there are no conflicting opinions when it comes to washing hands or cleansing the face. Hands are used most often during a day and the germs picked up find their way into the body through nose and mouth. Unarguably, hands should be washed multiple times every day which people in the SF Bay Area seem to neglect.
Ironically, San Francisco has the second highest percentage of germophobes in America's largest metropolitan areas, narrowly trailing Miami-Ft. Lauderdale.