Q. How does obesity impact body cleanliness?

Answered by
Dr. Rabia Anjum
and medically reviewed by Dr. Vinodhini. J
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 03, 2020

Hello doctor,

I am 28 years old. I have an issue with keeping my body clean. My body is constantly dirty, in the sense that if I use my fingernails to scrub any part of my body after soaking in water for some time, I always get light or dark greyish gunge under them (more so if I soak in a moisturizing bath soak). Having a simple shower and using a loofah, just does not get me clean. I can have showers every day after a bath and scrub, but by day three, I actually feel like I am not clean. Again, if I use my fingernails, gunge comes off of my body again. It is a real pain to have to soak twice a week and use fingernails and then exfoliate. I moisturize using Aveeno lotion after bath. I am very overweight and suffer from hirsutism (maybe that has something to do with it?). Can anything be done about this (where a simple daily shower is enough to get me properly clean)?



Welcome to

Yes, overweight and obesity can lead to such problem because our sebaceous glands get bigger and too making more sebum and you feel like being dirty all the time. I will suggest you to first try to decrease your weight within limits. It will be very helpful not only better for your health but also for your skin. That is why in obese person skin infections are very common.

Secondly, sweating also increases especially is skin folds where dirt extra gather easily so you see the ultimate solution is weight loss. Apart from that use olive oil massage for the body before washing and use simple mild soap for bathing.

I hope this helps.

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