From a very young age, we are all taught to share whether it is toys, clothing, or anything else. The words, “sharing is caring,” is something that resonates with many people. Sharing is not only a nice thing to do; it can also make you happy. Sharing personal hygiene products with friends, family members, or partners is kind of inevitable. But some of those seemingly harmless items can actually put you at risk for serious skin and health problems when shared. There are certain things we shouldn’t share with each other if we want to stay healthy and prevent germs: needles, food, razors and beverages. But there are a lot of other harmless everyday items that aren’t just unhygienic if you share them: they’re downright dangerous.
Some of the other no-share items include:
1. Nail clippers/ Hair trimmer/ Clippers/ Nose clippers:
Except well sanitized before use, all these items should not be shared; they can very easily harbour blood specks or infective organisms on them that will be transmitted to the next user if they’re shared.
Diseases that can be transmitted include fungi, warts, HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, folliculitis and skin infections.
Sharing tweezers can quickly become tools to transfer blood-borne diseases. Like any other sharp object, it can aid the transmission of Hepatitis C or HIV and Hepatitis B.
Never share sponge as it never really dries out between uses, it is super easy for fungi and viruses from dead skin cells to grow and multiply and live in the weaves of fibers. A contaminated sponge can cause a lot of skin infections.
4. Face cream, Vaseline:
Sharing face creams/vaseline can spread bacteria like streptococcus or staphylococcus (which some people carry harmlessly on their skin) and can cause folliculitis (inflammation of the hair follicle). Dipping fingers usually contaminates the cream/Vaseline.
5. Lip balm:
Bacteria can be transferred through the membranes of your mouth into your bloodstream. Lips have an extensive network of blood vessels just under the surface, ready to absorb anything you apply on the mouth, germs included. Diseases associated with sharing lip-balm include Common Cold, Mononucleosis, Oral herpes (Cold sores), Genital Herpes, Human Papilloma Virus infection, Polio, Hepatitis B., Syphilis, Meningitis and Tuberculosis.
6. Pumice stones:
Pumice stone is used to remove dead skin from foot sole and also callouses, they are therefore literally full of dead skin from rough heels and soles, that is likely to contain fungi or even some virus that lead to plantar warts.
Pumice stone can therefore easily spread fungi and warts within a family. It is often the culprit for spreading plantar warts between family members, so after only one use someone’s feet can be covered in warts. It (pumice stone) must be washed thoroughly with soap and water and sanitized before and after each use.
Sharing toothpaste can aid transmission of some infections if care is not taken when applying the paste to the tooth brush. If the end of the tooth paste tube touches the brittles of the tooth brush, there could be transfer of germs into the tooth paste in the tube. The tube can harbor germs where it touched the toothbrush which can be transmitted with each use.
If you’re going to share, each person should avoid touching the end of the tube to your brush.
8. Slippers and shoes:
Sharing shoes and slippers can aid transfer of fungus and bacteria from a person’s foot to another; bacteria and fungi live on the shoe, especially if the shoes are often wet. Such shoes can transmit athlete’s foot and warts.