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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Hand Sanitizer FAQs – Hand Sanitizer and Coronavirus

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Hand sanitizers have been in high demand in recent times, and are even out of stock in many shops and malls. This is what COVID-19 has brought to a reality, and now people need answers on hand sanitizer frequently asked questions.

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Before we go further to answer your hand sanitizer FAQs, here is a brief overview of COVID-19 and current safety tips. Every social media platform or tv channel you turn to now is either talking about the coronavirus or something closely related to the pandemic.

On a global scale, there has been pandemic far severe. And some that had even claimed the lives of millions. An example is the Black Death (Bubonic Plague) in the year 1347-1351, this outbreak took the lives of 200 million people.

Corona might not a high death toll rate like the Black Death, or the SmallPox, we would agree that 361,000 lives are a considerable number to contend with.

Corona is a family of viruses, which may cause the common cold and very severe acute respiratory ailment.

The first case of Corona was in Wuhan China in the year 2019 and since then had claimed the lives of over 361,000 and sickened over 5.8 million people globally with U.S.A having the highest death rate of 101,000 with 1.7 million infected.

Corona was identified on the 31st of December 2019 and was declared an outbreak on the 30th of January 2020. Every country implements measures to ensure it’s citizens are safe.

Various policies have been implemented by countries across the globe to tackle the impact of the coronavirus. While there is no cure for COVID-19, there are preventive measures. Below are a few of them:

  • Regular handwashing with soap and running water
  • The use of hand sanitizers
  • Wearing of nose masks
  • No face touching
  • Social distancing
  • No handshakes
  • Covering properly when coughing or sneezing

Hand Sanitizer

The hand sanitizer provides several advantages over hand washing with soap; nonetheless, it is less effective against an organic matter that is visible (dirt, food, and other material).

It often comes in handy when you do not have running water around, so it provides a quick and easy way to disinfect or clean the hands from all forms of gems.

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The hand sanitizer is mostly composed of alcohol, like ethyl alcohol, as its compound base, which works as an antiseptic, and other ingredients might include water, glycerin, and fragrance.

There are other hand sanitizers that do not contain alcoholic base compounds. These sanitizers contain an antibacterial called triclosan or triclocarban.

Ingredients like these are used in the production of toothpaste and soap such products are called antiseptic soap, antimicrobial or antibacterial products

Hand sanitizer FAQ

Do alcohol-free sanitizers work?

Alcohol-free hand sanitizers do not work. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can help to reduce the number of germs on a person’s hands, but they do not have the ability to completely eliminate all types of germs.

Use Soap and water are a more effective wash rather than hand sanitizers. Soap and water can remove German such as Clostridium difficile and Cryptosporidium norovirus.

How much hand sanitizer is needed to clean my hands?

Always follow the instructions written on your bottle of hand sanitizer. Most brands will instruct you to use a small amount or, more specifically, an amount the size of a quarter.

When sanitizing, you must cover all surfaces of your hands, including the top, bottom, your fingers, around your fingertips and fingernails, and also rub sanitizer up your wrist to about two inches.

How long do you rub your hands together when using hand sanitizer?

Ensure that you rub your hands together for not less than 15-30 seconds (that’s about the same time it will take you to sing Happy Birthday to You). Better still, rub until hands feel dry.

Do I have to wait for the hand sanitizer to dry on my skin?

Yes, you must. Rub your hands together gently until the hand sanitizer you have applied feels dry on your skin. Avoid waving your hands around to dry them as that will cause them to pick up microorganisms that may be hanging or floating in the air.

When do you need to use soap and water instead of hand sanitizer?

Yes, if available. Hand sanitizers are good, but they are not as effective on hands that are dirty, greasy, or heavily soiled. Your best bet is to use soap and water after you must have handled food, done gardening, played sports, fishing, camping, or working on vehicles.

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I have eczema, is hand sanitizer bad for my skin?

To avoid further skin irritation, it is better that people who have eczema wash hands with soap and clean water, then use a hand cream. The use of hand sanitizers can be quite harsh and irritating to eczema skin.

If you must use a hand sanitizer, do well to apply a moisturizing cream once your hands are dry. Also avoid the use of hand sanitizers with essential oils because they can irritate your skin even further.

Can I wave my hands around to dry them after using hand sanitizer?

DO NOT try to dry your hands by waving them around in the air. This is counterproductive as your hands will pick up the microorganisms floating in the air.

Do natural hand sanitizers work?

Available studies reveal that herbal or natural hand sanitizers are NOT useful or effective at killing germs.

How much alcohol content is required for hand sanitizer to be effective?

Any hand sanitizer must have no less than 60 percent alcohol to kill germs effectively.

Hidden dangers of hand sanitizers

Antibiotic Resistance

The effects of antibiotics against bacteria are very significant, but what happens once the body builds up a resistance towards antibiotics?

Triclosan invariably enables bacterial build up strength towards antibacterial and ends up killing good bacterial, so improper, or overexposure to antibiotics can cause bacterial resistance, which could make it challenging to treat.

Alcohol poisoning

When hand sanitizer is being ingested, it results in poisoning, especially if ingested by kids at home, as a couple of squirts of hand sanitizer could equal a couple of hard liquor.

Weaker Immune System

Study shows that triclosan can affect the immune system, which protects the body from bacterial.

Toxic Chemical

Most of the chemicals found in scented hand sanitizers have adverse effects on the body. Some of these hand sanitizers contain chemicals that either give them the fragrance of helping them extend the products shelf life.

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We hope this article has been helpful. Kindly leave a comment below.

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.

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