Do you need to use hand sanitizers?

Embrace good hygiene and keep diseases at bay with an effective hand sanitizer.

The foundation of good health lies in clean surroundings and excellent personal hygiene. We may not know it, but the human body acquires new bacterial organisms inside and out on a daily basis. While the body fights constantly to stave off illnesses, some infections are harder to eliminate. Interestingly, many infections are caused as a result of improper hygiene.

The fastest way for germs to spread is through the route of unclean hands. Those who do not wash their hands after using the bathroom, or coming indoors after exercise or touching common surfaces such as bannisters, computer keyboards, landline phones, etc. can spread infections to others. Most faecal to oral infections are passed from person to person when a restroom user does not wash his or her hands. Even the germs causing such conditions as cough, cold and flu may be passed on by people already suffering these ailments.

Cold: A person suffering from cold may inadvertently shake hands with a healthy person, or sneeze or cough without covering his nose and mouth. This passes germs in the surroundings to other people.

Common surfaces: The highest numbers of bacteria are to be found on unclean cooking surfaces, car steering wheels, elevator buttons, TV remote controls, mobile phone keys, computer keyboard, etc. A person may pick up germs by touching these surfaces and become ill.

Pus: Those suffering from such conditions as chicken pox and boils are advised to cover their bodies till the pus dries out. Infected persons can put others at risk if they come in contact with them while their skin is oozing.

Food-related germs: Eating from unclean plates, sharing food or table napkins with a sick person, storing plates in an unclean sink…all of these can make people fall ill. Not washing frozen meat thoroughly before cooking also causes salmonella.

The best way to protect oneself from skin-to-skin infections is to wash one’s hands thoroughly at least four times a day using a good anti-bacterial soap and water. However, it may not always be possible to have access to clean water and soap. Instead, it is wiser to carry a hand sanitizer in your bag or purse.

How to hand sanitizers help?

Science has already established that most infections are transmitted among humans through touch. Viruses and bacterial infections that cause the common cold and flu attach themselves to healthy persons when they touch their nose or eyes with hands carrying these contaminants. Keeping the hands clean at all times is the best way to stave off disease. In the absence of soap and water, hand sanitizers can help.

They come in the form of sprays, gels and powders, but gels are the most popular variants. Most people use hand sanitizers merely to refresh their hands after a meal or after going to the bathroom. But they are also found to be effective in cleaning the skin’s surface and removing oil, dirt, germs and other contaminants. They are composed of alcohol-based agents that eliminate surface bacteria and viruses. When you purchase a hand sanitizer, you must make sure that it is composed of at least 60% ethyl alcohol for maximum germ-cleaning power.

It is better to check with your doctor before letting your child use hand sanitizers, so that it does not aggravate an existing allergy or cause harm to sensitive skin. Similarly, they may irritate pets. Hand sanitizers can be used by every child and adult. In cold and flu season, they are the best weapon to combat illness.

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