Bathing has a number of functions. The skin continuously secrets sebum and perspiration (sweating), which have protective functions. Sebum prevents dryness, and sweating makes the skin slightly acidic, discouraging bacterial growth.
Excessive accumulation of sebum, perspiration, and dead skin cells, however, can be injurious or disadvantageous. Excessive perspiration interacts with bacteria on the skin, causing body odour, which is considered offensive in some cultures.
Over accumulation of sebum on the skin can be irritating itself since it promotes the growth of bacteria. Large number of bacteria on the skin can cause problems, particularly when the skin surface is damaged erupted e.g. by a cut.
Dead skin cells also harbour bacteria. Bathing, then, removes accumulated oil, perspiration, dead skin cells, and some bacteria. That is why Rasulullah (PBUH) urged:
"there is impurity under every hair. So wash the hairs and cleanse the body' (Abu Daud)
The quantity of oil and dead skin cells produced can be appreciated when you observe the skin of a person after the removal of a cast (P.O.P.) that has been on for six weeks!
Excessive bathing however, can interfere with the intended lubricating effect of the sebum, causing dryness of the skin. In addition to cleaning the skin, bathing also stimulates circulation. A warm or hot bath dilates superficial blood vessels (arterioles), bringing more blood and nourishment to the skin. Vigorous rubbing has the same effect.
Bathing also produces a service of well-being. It is refreshing and relaxing and frequently improves morale, appearance, and self-respect. Some people take a morning bath for its refreshing stimulating effects. Others prefer an evening bath because it is relaxing. Both, could be necessary especially in our peculiar condition: climate, over- crowding, incessant electricity failure, harsh economic condition etc.
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited