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Is taking a daily shower necessary? A dermatologist weighs in.

How often should we shower?
How often should we shower? 02:23

MINNEAPOLIS — A sweaty Sunday with temperatures pushing into the 80s might have forced many people to hit the showers. And for some, it could have been their second go 'round for the day. But how often should we shower? Is there a downside to doing so too often?

While many shower daily, some say they try to space things out to only a few times a week. Some claim they don't sweat much, or that their skin doesn't produce as much oil as others'. Dermatologist Dr. Jaime Davis showers daily, but her motivation doesn't have to do with hygiene.

"It wakes me up, gets me ready for work and the right mindset," she said.

Routine or feeling clean is often why people take daily showers, but Davis said doing so every day is far from necessary.

"Maybe the place to start for any individual might be just hygiene," she said. "Are you a person that tends to sweat more and possibly have a little odor more? You might lean towards a more frequent showering."

Exercising or jobs that make someone break a sweat are good reasons to shower, even if someone already did so earlier in the day, but showering at a high frequency can have its downsides.

"For people who tend to have dry skin, especially if they shower in the traditional way of hot, with soap, they're gonna dry out really fast," said Davis.

When using soap, she suggests people focus on the areas that sweat most, like the armpits, groin, or feet. Those areas also tend to carry odors.

"Unless you really have sweat on you or dirt from your occupation, you don't necessarily need to soap up areas out in the open," she said.

Is shower frequency different for children? Parents often say they don't really notice their young children carrying many odors.

"Children don't tend to produce as much odor because they don't have the oil glands, and maybe even the sweating capacity of adults," Davis said.

There's also the thought that children need to be exposed to germs to build up immunity. If a child showers too often, it can ruin the balance of bacteria on their skin. They may dry out and deal with irritation or eczema.

No matter the age or frequency, Davis said to remember to moisturize quickly after a shower, especially if dry skin is an issue. Turn the temperature down as well, since hot showers increase the potential for dry skin.

"Trust your instinct. There is no rule. It's just what works for you," Davis advised.

Climate or time of year can change showering frequency. For example, Minnesota has dry winters, but humid summers could force people to rinse more often.

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