HOW often you should wash your bed sheets if often up for debate, with many sticking to a once-a-week sheet change at least.
However, research has identified these four health conditions that could be linked to not getting the linen in the laundry often enough.
Experts warn that dirty bedding can be a breeding ground for microbes and disease.
They say this can lead to a range of health issues, from mild skin conditions to more severe illnesses.
It comes after a 2020 survey by Hammond Furniture found that a third of Brits only wash their bedding once a year.
Here are the main four conditions linked to dirty sheets.
1. Skin complaints
The dead skin cells that accumulate on bedsheets are ideal food for dust mites, whose presence can cause a range of skin conditions.
Eczema flare-ups and rhinitis are among the most common.
The can cause itchy rashes and painful, irritated skin.
Dust mites also produce fecal matter which, as well as the bodies of dead mites, can trigger allergies, as well as asthma.
Symptoms can include skin rashes, itchy eyes and a runny nose.
In serious cases of asthma, this can cause breathing difficulties and be very dangerous.
Bacteria building up on bed sheets can lead to appendicitis if it enters the digestive tract.
Cleveland Clinic dermatologist Alok Via told the Daily Express that there are actually more bacteria in our bodies than there are cells of our own.
However, an infection or blockage of the appendix by bacteria can be extremely serious.
Appendicitis often requires surgery and a burst appendix can be fatal.
Bacterial infections can also come from a build up of microbes on unwashed bedding.
One of the most contagious is staphylococcus aureus, which spreads extremely easily and can cause severe health issues.
The bacteria has been linked to pneumonia, among other diseases.
Gonorrhea is another bacterial infection that can be transmitted on sheets, especially if you share a bed with an infected person.
As such it is highly recommended to wash sheets regularly, while people with contagious illnesses should change them every day.
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