Bathtub or Shower: The Surprising Answer

Taking a shower is a daily routine for many people, but not everyone knows the different effects of using a showerhead or taking a bath.


Bathing, in general, is a necessary activity to clean the body and maintain skin health. There are various ways to take a bath, such as using a bucket and pouring water onto the body or using a shower or bathtub. Some people prefer a quick shower, while others enjoy a relaxing soak in a bathtub.

So which method of bathing is better?

According to Dr. Niket Sonpal, an internal medicine physician in New York, both showering and bathing have their own advantages and disadvantages, so it depends on the individual to choose the most suitable method.

Advantages and disadvantages of showering

– Cost-effective: Showering is less expensive than bathing in a bathtub, and it is often used for quick showers, saving more water compared to bathing in a bathtub. The design of a showerhead is also simple and compact, making it more suitable for small bathrooms.

– Time-saving: Showering allows you to be more time-efficient. If you are busy, you can simply adjust the water temperature and stand under the showerhead to start showering.

– Suitable for everyone: A showerhead is convenient for people of all ages, from adults to the elderly and children.

– Massage function: The water jets from a showerhead provide a different pressure compared to pouring water from a bucket or soaking in a bathtub. This stimulates the acupuncture points and improves blood circulation. Many people enjoy showering because it gives them a massage-like sensation. Showering with a handheld showerhead also stimulates the scalp, relieving headaches caused by stress. However, if the water pressure from the showerhead is too strong and directed at the face, it may dry out the skin.

Showering also has some disadvantages:

– Potential exposure to manganese: Dr. John Spangler from Wake Forest University warns about the risk of inhaling airborne manganese particles released from showerhead water. The risk of inhaling manganese increases the longer you shower. This metal in household water can be harmful to the body and affect the central nervous system. Inhaling manganese is more dangerous than ingesting it through food and drink because it enters the brain faster, causing a more severe impact.

– Increased risk of bacterial infection: Showerheads can harbor bacteria, including harmful lung-related bacteria. If you do not maintain cleanliness and hygiene of the showerhead, it can increase the risk of bacterial infection. Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Mycobacterium avium are bacteria commonly found in showerheads and can cause respiratory infections. When using a showerhead, bacteria can be dispersed into the air and easily inhaled.

Advantages and disadvantages of bathing in a bathtub

Bathing in a bathtub has the following advantages:

– Adding herbs or salts to the bathwater can create a therapeutic bathing experience that enhances beauty, treats illnesses, and promotes well-being.

– Stress reduction: Regularly taking baths helps reduce stress and fatigue. Soaking in the bathwater helps relax the nerves and improve mood after a stressful day. A study conducted in 2018 found that people who soaked in warm water daily experienced less fatigue, stress, and depression compared to those who only showered. Additionally, bath immersion increases blood circulation and encourages detoxification processes.

– Pain relief: Taking baths can help alleviate pain caused by conditions such as hemorrhoids, regulate body temperature, and exfoliate dead skin cells.

Disadvantages of bathing in a bathtub include:

– Time-consuming: It takes time for the bathtub to fill up with water.

– Higher costs: Bathtubs and the water used for filling them are more expensive compared to showers, resulting in higher electricity and water bills.

– Expensive installation: Bathtubs take up a significant amount of space and require additional expenses for purchasing and installing.

– Not suitable for everyone: People with mobility issues, including the elderly, may encounter difficulties getting in and out of a bathtub.

– Increased risk of bacterial infection if the bathtub is not properly cleaned. Moreover, if someone in the household has a skin condition, sharing a bathtub is not recommended.

Therefore, depending on individual preferences and needs, showering is recommended for daily use, while bathing in a bathtub can be chosen as a relaxation and therapeutic method. Regardless of the bathing method chosen, it is important to ensure the water temperature and maintain cleanliness of the showerhead or bathtub for the safety and well-being of the skin.