How well do hand sanitizers work?

 How well do hand sanitizers work?

Since the outbreak of the deadly coronavirus leading to pandemic, hand sanitizers and face masks have become an important shield for protection. Hand sanitizers are applied on the hands to remove any pathogens that a person might have caught. They come in liquid-gel, foam and sprays having a certain percentage of alcohol and are used when water or hand wash isn’t available and ensures that the immunity isn’t compromised. 

Types of hand sanitizers

There are two kinds of hand sanitizers: 

  • Alcohol-based sanitizers
  • Alcohol-free sanitizers

Alcohol-based sanitizers have ethanol as an active ingredient which helps to denature proteins of microorganisms and hence kill it. On the other hand, alcohol-free sanitizers have benzalkonium chloride (BAC) or triclosan as an active ingredient but it doesn’t help kill the pathogens, instead they stop their growth. 

Other aspects of hand sanitizers

Hand sanitizers contain other ingredients too, such as fragrance, soothing agents which help soften the skin, and thickening agents which help slow down the evaporation of water. Because of the various varieties, different hand sanitizers attract various age groups of society in this time of pandemic, particularly elementary school children, who now love to use different fragmented hand sanitizers in a cute-sized bottles and and in the form of sprays. Now-a-days, hand sanitizers are considered as a core element in cleaning hands on a regular basis especially at workplaces.

Hand sanitizers prevents the spread of the pathogen

Germs can contaminate our hands and the items we touch on a daily basis, making us sick. One of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs is to clean your hands at key times with soap and water or hand sanitizer that contains a minimum of 60% alcohol. There are significant distinctions between hand washing with soap and water and using hand sanitizer. Soap and water remove all types of germs from the hands, whereas sanitizer kills specific germs on the skin.

 

Hand sanitizers promote good hygiene and health

Hand hygiene is an essential component of good sanitation in the home and community, and it can have a meaningful impact on the incidence of infection. Germs free hands will ensure that the food you consume isn’t being contaminated with any other environmental microorganisms or else infections of the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract and the skin are the most common. Placing hand sanitizers near exits allows people to defend themselves against germs without making a bigger mess.

Few things to consider

  • Hand sanitizers should be avoided if the hands are wet, have grease or other chemicals since it creates a barrier between the skin and the antiseptic. 
  • It should also not be used if the person is doing a task which includes fire, for example, cooking, laboratory work etc. since it is flammable.
  • It should also not be taken orally either intentionally or unintentionally since it can lead to other irritations. 
  • Use an appropriate amount of hand sanitizer as per need. Apply the quantity that is just enough to anchor all of your hands.