That's a gross thought, but maybe our obsession with keeping gross and dirty things away from our bodies is causing us to get sick.
Awareness has been growing that anti-bacterial over-reaction is compromising immune systems in some people. What may seem like gross stuff to you could be just what the doctor ordered.
"Because if you kill too much of your normal flora it allows very unusual organisms to grow, and your immune system can't fight that," says Houston dermatologist Dr. Esta Kronberg.
Once thought to be a symptom of poverty, asthma is increasingly frequent among more affluent families because they can sometimes be more diligent in keeping the children free from all bacteria.
Especially during flu season, frequent hand-washing is required, but over-use can lead to something more lasting than a week or more of illness.
"I wouldn't use severe anti-bacterials all the time, severe ones," cautions Dr. Kronberg. "But you don't want that to be your total cleanser because you're killing too much of your normal benign bacteria, allowing bad bacteria to grow."