You’ve heard the advice since you were young – wash your hands to avoid getting sick. Hand sanitisers are making it easier to keep our hands clean, especially when we’re travelling. Here are some points to remember when choosing a hand sanitiser, which are available in the form of a gel, cream or foam as well as wipes.
According to experts, it’s important to use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60 per cent alcohol. This type of sanitiser not only is more effective at killing germs, but non-alcohol-based sanitisers can potentially be harmful and can cause germs to develop resistance to sanitising. The transmission of some flu-like diseases can be prevented by using hand sanitizers. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer definitely fights against germs and kills 99.9% germs.
Scientists have shown that alcohol-based hand sanitizer does not stop diseases. However, it helps in preventing the transmission of contagious diseases like cold, flu, H1N1 and other viral and bacterial-based diseases.
An alcohol-based hand sanitizer can work up to 6 hours.
It works on the phenomenon of friction. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer contains 65% of alcohol which has a very low boiling point. So, as you rub it on your palm, in between your fingers, heat is generated due to friction. The heat evaporates alcohol and other particles, which takes germ particles with them.
It must be used as in directed way- Firstly take a coin-sized drop of hand sanitizer on your palm; spread it all over your inside and outside of your palm; Rub your hands together until they become dry. Hands are becoming dry means alcohol is killing germs.
While that may seem counterintuitive because effective sanitizers contain so much alcohol, several studies have proven that these formulas are actually better for skin than soap. For instance, a 2004 study compared the effectiveness of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and antibacterial soap for nurses who worked in neonatal intensive care units in New York. The study found that while nurses were using the hand sanitizer, their skin condition was much better than when they used the antibacterial soap to clean their hands.
Remember to use sufficient sanitiser, to rub it over all surfaces of your hands including between the fingers, and to let the product dry. Also, don’t wipe your hands or rinse them after applying. When used correctly, alcohol-based hand sanitisers kill at least 99.9 per cent of viruses, fungi and bacteria. So after you touch that public stair railing, using hand sanitiser can help you avoid a cold or flu virus.
Health authorities say the simplest way to prevent the spread of infections is to regularly wash your hands throughly with soap and hot water for at least 30 seconds. Rinse well and dry your hands with a clean towel or hot air dryer. If soap and water is not accessible, try to use a hand sanitiser to remove potential harmful germs.
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