Wash your hands or use an alcohol-based antiseptic?
We talk about health based on research by scientists. Everything so that you do not miss dangerous symptoms, buy working drugs, and properly take care of yourself.
One of the easiest and cheapest ways to protect yourself from coronavirus is to keep your hands clean. WHO recommendsCoronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public wash your palms regularly with warm water and soap, and if this is not possible, use an alcohol antiseptic.
What better protects against coronavirus – soap or antiseptic
No difference. Both soap and alcohol solutions (with an alcohol concentration of at least 60%, this is important) equally effectively get rid of the virus.
Therefore, in general, handwashing with soap and treatment with an alcohol-containing sanitizer are interchangeable procedures except in a few cases.
When to wash your hands with soap and water
Alcohol sanitizers are almost useless if the skin is heavily soiled.
Also, the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing hands in the usual way before eating and after using the toilet.
When to use an antiseptic
United Nations Children’s Fund – UNICEF – compiled a list of situations everything you need to know about washing your hands to protect against coronavirus (COVID-19). You need to clean your hands as quickly as possible in a pandemic. And it doesn’t matter whether it is water and soap or an alcoholic antiseptic.
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, even if they did it correctly – not in a fist, but the bend of the elbow, and even more so if you are still in a fist.
- Immediately after leaving public places. We are talking about shops, markets, transport, offices and so on.
- Immediately after returning home.
- After touching any surface outside the home, including cash.
- After touching any surfaces that have entered your home from the outside – boxes of parcels, bags with purchases and food, shoes, outerwear …
- Before and after meals.
- After garbage handling.
- After touching animals, including pets.
- After changing diapers or helping children in the toilet, by the way, children also need to handle their hands. Including alcohol-based sanitizers if soap and water are not available.
How to properly disinfect your hands
Lifehacker has already written about how the WHO recommends washing hands. Let’s say that you need to soap your brushes for at least 20 seconds!
The medical publication HealthLine recommends How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer act like that for the antiseptic.
- Apply a disinfectant to the palm of one hand so that it should be enough for both.
- Rub one hand thoroughly against the other. Ensure the antiseptic covers the entire surface of your brushes, including your fingers and the spaces between them.
- Continue rubbing your hands until they are dry. Typically, this takes 30-60 seconds. The longer you work for your hands, the more reliably you get rid of viruses and germs.
Which dries the skin more – wash or antiseptic.
According to frequently Asked Questions about Hand Hygiene for Healthcare Personnel Responding to COVID-2019CDC, hand sanitizers dry skin less than frequent washing with soap. This is because the sanitizers contain moisturizers and emollients, such as glycerin or aloe gel.
But it is important to understand that this only applies to certified pharmacy antiseptics or homemade products, in the manufacture of which WHO instructions were carefully followed.
If the recipe is not followed, there is a risk of overdoing it with alcohol. Again, the finished sanitizer can cause dryness and irritation of the skin.
How to protect your skin from dryness
If we are talking about soap, then dryness with frequent hand washing cannot be avoided. To reduce this effect, buy a moisturizing soap. Or here’s another option.
In any case: if you frequently and actively disinfect your hands, extra care will not hurt them. Experts from the American Academy of Dermatology recommend the American Academy of Dermatology shares handwashing tips, if possible, moisturize your hands as soon as you wash them or use an antiseptic. You need to do it like this:
- Make sure your hands are parched. To do this, blot them thoroughly with a paper towel after washing, or rub the antiseptic dry.
- Use moisturizers that contain mineral oil or petroleum jelly. Choose a cream or ointment: they moisturize better than liquid lotions. Ideally, the cosmetics will be free of fragrances and dyes (they can irritate).
Other ingredients help frequently Asked Questions about Hand Hygiene for Healthcare Personnel Responding to COVID-2019reduce dryness. Look for linolenic and stearic acids, paraffin, Cyclomethicone, Dimethicone, squalene, carboxylic acid, lactate, urea, and glycerin composition of an ointment or cream.
If, despite your best efforts, the skin dries up, consult a dermatologist. You may need a prescription ointment or cream. Also, dry skin can sign a medical condition, such as eczema, and only a dermatologist can diagnose you correctly.
Adapted and translated by The Cop Cart Staff
Sources: Life hacker