Ok, here’s the story. I got the call at 10:00 am to sub for an aquaintance. I’m unemployed so it would be easy money, so I said yes. I had to show up at 11. I leaped into the shower and proceeded to wash before noticing that my current razor (el cheapo) was pretty worn down and not likely to do much more than cut me to bits. In desperation, I grabbed my roommate’s razor out of the medicine cabinet and used it, washing it off throughly. However, I forgot to put it back.
He was not best pleased, but I did buy him a new one and explained that it was a special circumstance. He told me it was terribly unhygenic. Was it that bad? As far as I know, he has no communicable diseases and I didn’t cut myself with it.
The obvious danger is you cutting yourself leaving blood on the razor, and then him cutting himself allowing the blood into his body. It’s likely a very small risk due to the small amount of blood, the frequent rinsing, and the small cuts a razor makes. It’s more skeevy than a health risk.
No, soap and hot water is enough to wash off most bacteria and viruses.
Hepetitis is the one to worry about; it can survive up to 7 days outside the human body. HIV and Herpes are pretty fragile and will die within minutes or hours of exposure to the air. The OP’s got staph and strep on her skin already, just like all of us. Syphilis won’t even grow in a laboratory full of nurturing scientists - no way it’s growing on a razor. Cutaneous TB is only caught from direct contact or a preexisting lung infection. Mmm…what else should she be worried about?*
Most things that grow well inside a 37 degree, moist, slightly salty human body don’t do well in a cooler, dryer, less saline strip of metal and plastic. If it can survive on the razor, it’s probably going to die in the body and vice-versa.
*No, seriously, what else should she be worried about? I’ve got a test on this stuff next week and I don’t want to miss the obvious!
On preview: Qadgop, can you tell me more about the HIV link? Are we talking razor used and passed to next user immediately or a razor used, washed, dried and stored, then washed and used again? 'Cause if it’s the later, I’d like to bring some cites to my Microbiology teacher. She loves it when we challenge her!
Heck, no! But if I knew my roommate hadn’t shaved in the last 24 hours and the razor was dry in the medicine cabinet and I then washed it thoroughly myself before using it, I probably would. 'Though I’d probably soak it in some rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide while I showered, too, just in case.
If it was my old promiscuous drug using roommate however, no. I’m not even sure I’d use a fresh razor out of the package if I knew she had bought it!
At work, I was required to take a yearly class on blood-borne pathogens and blood spills. Basic advice for everyone was, “Never share needles, syringes, or razors.” Qadgop is an M.D., and I’m not. If it were me, I’d go stubbly before sharing a razor. It’s your bloodstream, and it’s your decision. Do you feel lucky?
Whilst making my study guide, I came across another potential nasty: fungii. Dermatomycoses, specifically Trichophyton, Microsporum and Epidermophyton* cause jock itch, athlete’s foot and ringworm. Not only can they survive outside the body, they pretty much rely on fomites - non living things - to spread them around to be picked up by new individuals. So I don’t know what bits of you you were shaving, but if you get any itching, peeling or a ring shaped raised bit anywhere on you, you might want to see a doctor. They are treatable with drugs.
*Seriously, I have like 200 of these damn words to memorize along with the diseases they cause. And the test is fill-in-the-blank, not matching or multiple choice. Qadgop, how’d you *do *it, man?!
Maybe I’m too paranoid, but a razor is amongst the last things I would be willing to share. I would probably have been even less understanding than your room-mate. I would have found that as palatable as borrowing my toothbrush.