Usually, I'm a health tips gal, I don't write about beauty tips, not skin nor hair, that's more for my sister. However, after taking my bath in the afternoon with COLD! water for 2 consecutive days for the second time this year, I came out of the bathroom with a thought in mind. Wondering if HOT! water really does cause wrinkled skin. I decided to carry out some research on the matter. No point puzzling over something and doing absolutely nothing to help the situation, I always say.
I have always prided myself in bathing with hot water. When I say hot, I mean really hot, steaming, window fogging hot, not lukewarm. Unless of course the heat is unbearable then I might consider using lukewarm water. Many times I have been told that it is bad and would cause my skin to wrinkle and age faster. I refused to pay heed to that advice. I am not a kid, I had my fair share of life experiences (but I can't say how old I really am. You know what they say... "a lady is not supposed to announce her real age and I consider myself a lady"). So, to avoid further harassment and baseless arguments, I decided to do a little research on the benefit of cold vs. hot water baths.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF HOT WATER BATHS
- It relaxes the muscle and relieves tension: Tell me what you do to unwind after a very long hectic day? Most of us would love to soak in a hot tub and then have a massage. Now wouldn't that be heavenly? Hot water penetrates the skin pores down to the muscle giving you some level of massage. I guess you'll be getting a "2 in 1" treatment here. The relaxation and the massage.
- It reduces stress and anxiety: This should be added to the "how to reduce stress" post of last week. It does this by stimulating the production of oxytocin (a hormone).
- It reduces insomnia: less stress means more good sleep. The benefits of sleep are well enumerated here on this blog.
- Serves as a decongestant: If you've ever had a cold, then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. Countless times I've had to prescribe this particular therapy to my patients. It helps to breakdown phlegm in the respiratory tract and aids their clearance.
- It helps blood circulation: This way it keeps the skin looking as good as new. The skin is the largest organ in the body and no organ needs to be neglected. (We'll come to this much later). It also gets the blood moving to different parts of the body.
- It helps to cleanse the body of excess oils and dirt and prevents skin infection. If I may add at this point, the skin is never totally void of bacteria no matter how long you scrub or soak. So don't bother with that.
- It helps mental alertness and energizes you. If only from having a good night rest
HEALTH BENEFITS OF COLD WATER BATHS
- It improves mental alertness by causing a shock to go through the body
- It improves blood circulation: it does this by pushing the blood to the organs to keep them warm.
- It protects the skin as hot water seems to dry it out of oils making it itchy and leading to irritations
- It boosts immunity: this is achieved by increasing the number of white blood cells (the police of our bodies) and also by increasing the metabolic rate.
- It increases fertility by increasing the testosterone levels
- It helps to reduce pain to injured muscles (ice pack)
Are you confused yet? I am! Lots of controversies. Both of them claiming the same benefits. Well here are my own thoughts mainly from my own personal experience and everyone has theirs I'm sure.
- To me, this question is one of many myths.
- When I soak my hands in water for a long time they wrinkle, whether it's hot or cold water.
- Hot water doesn't make me itch, cold water does.
- When it comes to compresses, I believe hot water is preferred for long term use and old injuries as opposed to cold water. This experiment, I carried out using my younger brother after he had intramuscular injections for almost a year and almost developed an abscess.
- I guess the type of soap and cream I use also helps. (You'll find out more about that in my next TIPS post).
- Bathing with cold water when you are hot and sweating may initially cool you down but afterwards increases sweating because of the sudden disparity between the core and skin temperatures, causing increased blood flow to the skin to warm it up.
- For treatment of fever (high temperature), neither hot nor cold water is recommended. Tepid (lukewarm) water is used.
- The Testis is already at a cooler temperature than the rest of the body, that's why it hangs outside the body. I personally don't think additional bathing with cold water adds to spermatogenesis.
- Hot water doesn't cause wrinkled skin as a solitary agent as other factors like type of soap and body lotion used, genetics, diet, exercise, chlorine e.t.c. cause also contribute to it. I'm yet to find a wrinkle on my skin and I've used hot water for as long as I can remember.
This is where I draw the curtain today guys. Choose whatever kind of water works best for you and have fun with it.
Here are a few websites that I liked reading this topic on: