"In an investigation of the effect on skin of repeated use of two washing agents, all skin function tests (stratum corneum capacitative resistance, lipids, transepidermal water loss, pH, laser Doppler flow, and skin reddening) were markedly changed after a single wash, and after 1 week further damage was noted (52). In a study of irritant skin reactions induced by three surfactants, damage lasted for several days; complete skin repair was not achieved for 17 days (53).
Soaps and detergents have been described as the most damaging of all substances routinely applied to skin (43). Anionic and cationic detergents are more harmful than nonionic detergents (54), and increased concentrations of surfactant result in more rapid, severe damage (55). Each time the skin is washed, it undergoes profound changes, most of them transient. However, among persons in occupations such as health care in which frequent handwashing is required, long-term changes in the skin can result in chronic damage, irritant contact dermatitis and eczema, and concomitant changes in flora."
There is also more information out there now about showering and bathing much less regularly ie not every day.
This is difficult for me personally as I love water and It's how I wind down but I was taking two a day but now I am down to one unless I have been doing some physical activity.
Did a quick search here is some info.
Great info Auszi. interestingly enough BJJ Weekly just put up this article.
Came across this article recently regarding soaps.
"Hand sanitizer is a good thing: If it’s used properly, it kills reliably. (Except for Clostridium difficile; you need proper hand-washing to keep that down, because alcohol can’t penetrate the hard wall of the spore that the bacterium forms.) That observation usually moves the conversation pretty quickly to the more-is-better impulse that seems so central to American culture. If it’s protective to use regular hand sanitizer, surely highly antibacterial, super-duper-extra-protective, Kills Everything Smaller Than Your Head ™ sanitizer would be better?
The answer to that, counter-intuitively, is no. When it comes to the rise of resistant organisms, topical-antiseptic hand sanitizers seem likely to be part of the problem. And very new research published over the Thanksgiving holiday suggests that they may be problematic in more dimensions than we know.
The chemicals that antibacterial products use for bacterial killing work on organisms in a manner similar to antibiotics’ effect, though they are less potent — and just as organisms have evolved resistance to antibiotic compounds, they have begun to develop resistance to antibacterial compounds too. Which would be a risk worth taking if the compounds provided necessary protection; but studies show that in regular household use, regular soap provides the same amount of protection against disease organisms that antibacterial soaps do."
The washing less, and 6 other basic things we are doing wrong, was on a cracked article recently, link. The tooth brushing thing there is interesting too.
Even with cutting down on the bathing I'd still go for regularily cleaning the training gear. If nothing else it puts a clean barrier between you and your training partner.
Captain Obvious footnote: Our training gear doesn't have the same self maintaining mechanisms as our skin does.
Aside from the owners ensuring it's clean, I think it's also very dependent on the individual. got ringworm and mrsa from a place that was straight up filthly, yet as far as I know people were not infected (although I'm sure this was not the case). The owners were letting people use house gis that he'd wash once a week that were still wet from sweat from some other random dude.
I'd always wash my gi after practice, took a shower immediatly and had a long sleeve rash gaurd under my gi. I still contracted both ringworm and mrsa. Ringworm not so big a deal, but let me tell you mrsa is not cool at all and will make you very hesitant to roll anywhere where there isn't a shower nearby. I was pissed when I also saw his version of cleaning the mats was using a little dust vac after practice. Suffice to say I haven't stepped foot in that place again.
It did make me wonder how some of these guys who I know did not shower as frequently as I did were "ok".
I've seen too many people get MRSA (my sister in law got it doing Pilates of all things) so I'm a bit paranoid about scrapes. Hydrogen peroxide and neosporin are your friends. I use Betadine in place of the peroxide at home.
We haven't had any fungal things go around my Judo club, thank God. The gi and limited skin-skin contact helps tremendously with sanitation.