While proper handwashing technique is a significant part of keeping yourself healthy, good-old water and soap aren’t always around when you need them. Let’s say when you get an unexpected handshake from a runny-nosed co-worker in your office. That is where alcohol-based sanitizers come to your rescue. The PHAC recommends hand sanitizers and disinfectants that contain between 60 and 80 percent alcohol as ‘the excellent’ way to clean your hands when you’re not washing them with soap and water. Here’s what you should know about them.
Hand sanitizers are effective
The best way to clean grimy hands is to use a Purell Advanced hand sanitizers. This sanitizer cleans your hands better than regular soap and water. It induces the bacterial burden to a much higher amount than soap and water. And that’s not all; your hands tend to stay cleaner much longer than if you were to use plain soap and water.
Still not convinced that a bottle of alcoholic gel can really get your hands squeaky clean? Well, you don’t have to take our word for it, the evidence regarding their effectiveness have started to emerge and if you’re skeptical, then take the 1991 study cited by the WHO in their famous guidelines on hand hygiene in general health care that found that alcohol-based hand sanitizers were more effective than regular soap and water in preventing the transmission of viruses and bacteria from the hands of a healthcare worker to patients’ catheters.
Hand sanitizers don’t cause super-bacteria
There is a common myth that frequent use of Purell hand sanitizers will make bacteria resistant to treatment is completely false. The way hand sanitizers work is primarily based on cell-membrane disruption by the alcohol, which isn’t something that bacterium can acquire resistance to, it’s not physically possible.
Hand Sanitizers Are Gentle on Your Skin Than Soap and Water
Many modern hand sanitizers have various emollients in them that would actually improve skin condition. While that might seem counterintuitive because most effective sanitizers contain a high amount of alcohol, several studies have proven that all such formulas are actually better for skin than regular soap. For instance, research conducted in 2004 compared the effectiveness of alcohol-based hand sanitizers with antibacterial soap for nurses working in neonatal intensive care units. The research found that while nurses were cleaning their hands with hand sanitizer, their skin condition was much better than when they started using the antibacterial soap for cleaning their hands.
There’s a correct way to use hand sanitizers
To effectively use a hand sanitizer, you must make sure that your hands are free of visible dirt and grime before applying the product. Then, gently apply a palm-full of gel and rub vigorously for about 20 to 30 seconds, making sure to distribute the gel under your nails and jewelry and in between your fingers while on the backs of each hand and your wrists. Once your hands are dry, you’re good to go.
Make sure that you don’t rinse your hands with water or wipe them with a wet towel after using adisindectant or hand sanitizer, as this will counteract the effect of the gel.