Wash Yourself
Why do you need to wash yourself?
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  Facts
  • We need to wash ourselves regularly to get rid of all the food that bacteria love to eat like, sweat, oil, dirt and dead skin cells, and of course to wash away bacteria.
  • On our skin are millions of little ‘micro-organisms’ called bacteria. These bacteria feed on the sweat and oil that build up on our skin. The bacteria have to get rid of excess waste and that is what causes the smell if you don’t wash regularly.
  • When you’re clean, you’re covered in good bacteria. The bacteria lives on our skin and helps by cleaning up the dead skin cells, dirt, oil and sweat that we don’t want left on our skin. This good bacteria also defends against bad bacteria, which not only eat our dead skin cells but try to get the good bacteria too.
  • Too much bad bacteria can cause things like pimples, boils and even diarrhoea.
 
  Did You Know?
  • The average clean person has 10 million bacteria living on approximately one centimetre of skin.
  • But bacteria are so small that if you collected everyone of them living on your body they’d fit into the size of a pea.
  • A little bit of bacteria can be good and not just for our skin. Take yoghurt for example. Yoghurt is milk that has been boiled and had a lot of the water evaporated out of it. Then bacteria are added to help fermentation, that’s why yoghurt has a slightly sour taste.
  • Cheese is also milk that has turned sour with a substance called rennin added to make it solid. Cheese makers add some bacteria to the milk to speed up the process, and in some cheeses to help them ripen. Holes can form in some cheeses because some bacteria form little gas bubbles while the cheese is ripening thus creating holes.
 
  Experiments
Ring around the tub

Next time you’re having a bath after a busy day outside use warm water and plenty of soap and clean your body with a sponge or a flannel. Rub between your toes and around your feet and over your knees and your hands well. When you empty the bath have a look at the ring around the bath. Scrape some up with your finger nail. That’s soap, dead skin cells and body fat. Yummy stuff for bacteria! Make sure you give the bath a good clean when you’re finished too!
 
  Investigation
Skin cell patterns

Look at your own skin cells on a piece of sticky tape. Place a piece of sticky tape on your arm and smooth it down with your finger. Then gently lift it off Have a look at the pattern your skin leaves on the tape. Maybe you'll see little flakes - this will be dust, dirt and dead skin cells
 
  Jokes
What did the bacteria say as it was eating the dead skin cells?
Nothing it had its mouth full.
 




 
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