Almost everyone has an opinion about how many times you can wear jeans before tossing them into the washing machine. Some people argue that wearing denim more than three times is just gross. Others wear a single pair of pants upwards of 10 times before washing. A rare few, like Levi’s Chief Executive Officer Chip Burgh, forgo washing altogether to preserve the quality of their clothes.

Considering your body sheds more than 30,000 cells every day, it’s pretty disturbing to think about what lurks beneath the surface. So, we decided to look into whether all that dead skin and bacteria buildup poses any health risks.

But first, how often do you wear jeans before washing?

63 percent of Men’s Health readers said
their denim gets at least four uses before laundering, according to a Twitter
poll. A surprising 37 percent claimed they never wear jeans more than three
times before washing.

“One time is the only correct
answer. Especially if you take any sort of public transportation, one Twitter
user told us.

Several people explained that
frequent washings helped restore pant fit and shape.

Overwhelmingly, most people wore
jeans for a pretty long amount of time. In fact, 23 percent admitted to wearing
jeans at least 10 times before washing.

OK, but
is it a health risk to wear dirty jeans?

Wearing dirty jeans more than 10
times before washing sounds pretty gross. However, your chances of developing
bacterial infections is pretty low, says Dr. Steve Xu, M.D. and instructor in
the department of dermatology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of

“The skin is a pretty good barrier against infections,” he tells Men’s Health. Most healthy guys don’t need to worry if they avoid doing laundry.

But there is the chance you may develop jock itch, or a fungal infection in
your genital region, according to Dr. Adrienne Haughton, M.D. and director of
clinical and cosmetic dermatology at Stony Brook Medicine.

lot of men will have athlete’s foot,” she explains to Men’s
h. If you don’t wear socks before putting on your underwear,
the fungus can be transferred onto your groin area and move onto the jeans. The
fungus will continue to grow if your pants go unwashed.

“Just regular walking and moving
around, the fungus is just going to keep growing,” she says.

Guys with eczema, open wounds, or
even just dry skin are more likely to develop a bacterial infection, she says.
More commonly, oil in your pants could cause acne or folliculitis, she says.

So, how
often should I wash jeans?

to Haughton, there aren’t medical guidelines detailing how often clothes should
be laundered, so it really is up to personal preference. Cleaning expert Jolie
Kerr recommends washing after every five to 10 wears, according to Esquire.
If you really want to maintain the longevity of denim, always turn clothes
inside out and opt for hand washing.

Source: Men’s Health

Source: Men’s Health

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