“Research shows that hands play a major role in the transmission of germs,” says Kelly Reynolds, PhD, an associate professor in the Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. “Even after proper washing, hands and fingers are rapidly re-contaminated from the surrounding environment.”
Your body is yours, however, it is sacred and you should take good care of it, especially if you haven’t clipped your nails lately.
“My opinion is that the easier it is to clean your hands, the better off you are,” says study author Mark E. Rupp, MD, professor and chief of the division of infectious disease at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
The most essential body parts to avoid touching are:
1. Ear Canal
“Introducing anything into the ear canal can tear the thin skin that lines the ear canal,” says John K Niparko, MD, professor and chair of the department of otolaryngology-head & neck surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
If it is itchy, see an otolaryngologist. “An otolaryngologist can assess the problem—whether it be wax accumulation, eczema of the skin, or infection—like swimmer’s ear, for example. A tailored program of treatment, ear hygiene, and moisturizing of the skin should be put into play,” says Niparko.
You can use your hands to wash your face or apply skincare, but not for any other purpose. Putting your dirty hands on your face increases the likeliness of getting sick. “Your fingers contain oils that can plug your pores,” says Men’s Health dermatology advisor Adnan Nasir, MD.