Hand hygiene is crucial to maintaining good health. With various harmful pathogens surrounding us, it is important to know about the benefits of using hand sanitizer. While one may shop for hand sanitizers online, knowing to choose the correct one is an absolute necessity. Selecting the right sanitizer secures the health of individuals, their families, and friends.
Why should hand sanitizers be used?
The benefits of using a hand sanitizer are many. Unclean hands increase the risk of respiratory infections as well as other fatal illnesses. It has been recorded that in the year 2002 USA had 99,000 deaths due to health-care-associated infections. Using hand sanitizers ensures individuals are safe from viruses, germs, and bacteria. This leads to a decrease in mortality, sickness, and health care costs. Hand sanitizers, which are mainly alcohol-based, kill the germs on our palms and deter the spread of diseases, especially when we are outdoors. Applying hand sanitizers is also an eco-friendly practice, compared to using paper napkins.
What is an alcohol-based hand rub? Why should you be using alcohol-based sanitizer?
Germs, viruses, and bacterias are present everywhere. One can get in contact with them at any place, any time. Accepting and applying the hand hygiene recommendations has shown to play a significant role in containing diseases. Alcohol-based sanitizers are considered to be an ideal disinfectant in hospitals and outdoor settings. Hand sanitizers, especially alcohol-based, prevent the transmission of infection by disabling the germs. So, if one must shop for hand sanitizers online, it is advisable to choose alcohol-based hand sanitizers. In current times, alcohol-based sanitizers are increasingly used owing to their easy availability and assured safety.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines alcohol-based hand sanitizer as “an alcohol-containing preparation that is designed for application to hands to inactivate microorganisms or temporarily suppress their growth.” An alcohol-based hand rub is made available in the form of liquid, gel, or foam. Hand sanitizers that contain alcohol can have one or more types of alcohol and other active ingredients to impair pathogens. The alcohol present in the sanitizer has the ability to denature and coagulate protein present in microbes. This quality attributes to preferring alcohol-based sanitizers over others and thereby ensuring health security.
Health agencies advocate using formulations that contain 75% isopropyl alcohol or 80% ethanol since the values stand in the middle of an acceptable range. Hand rubs that contain 60% to 95% alcohol are allowable as well. Hand sanitizers without the prescribed percent of alcohol may not work on certain types of germs. They may merely reduce the growth of germs rather than killing them, posing a breach of health security.
Notable research has shown that alcohol is antibacterial and germicidal, which is why alcohol is considered to be a good antiseptic as well. When applied to the skin, alcohol hardly leaves any detectable residual activity. However, a slow regrowth of bacteria is indeed documented. But, the protection offered by alcohol-based sanitizers is effective in containing the spread of diseases. To provide persistent security, components like octenidine or chlorhexidine are added to alcohol-based hand rubs. Sanitizers made with revolutionary technologies, like Just Humans, also offer round-the-clock protection.
The most common and effective ingredient in alcohol-based hand rubs is ethanol. It seems to display fruitful results when dealing with viruses. Propanol, another constituent of hand-rubs, is efficacious against bacteria. Hand sanitizers may use a combination of these elements to provide the best results. The percentage of alcohol can also at times determine efficiency. A hand sanitizer constituting 85% ethanol shows better containment of bacterial growth than those with 60% to 65% ethanol. Sanitizers that are prepared and contain the stated and approved percentage of alcoholic ingredients are the perfect choice to make. Alcohols used in sanitizers have not yet acquired bacterial resistance. This makes them highly effective and an ideal shield protecting against disease-causing microbes.
Are alcohol-based sanitizers harmful to the skin?
It is obvious to worry about the health of our skin. Certain sanitizers in the market can make skin dry and chapped. Alcohol-based sanitizers also contain humectants. Humectants are hygroscopic elements that are used to keep things moist. In simple words, humectants act to provide moisturizing effects. Hand rubs with alcohol often have humectants like glycerin or aloe vera. The presence of these elements acts as a passive agent to alcohol, the aggressors, thus bringing in balance. So, while you buy hand sanitizers online, look for the ones that offer hydrating agents. A sanitizer that takes care of the skin, as well as health, should be on your checklist.
Where can one use alcohol-based sanitizers?
Alcohol-based sanitizers can be used anytime, whenever you feel the need. It is advisable to use it before eating or after coming in contact with contaminated surfaces. Hospital settings extensively use alcohol-based sanitizers where the risk of transmission is high. Individuals are guided to carry alcohol-based sanitizers to schools, offices, or while performing any outdoor activity.
Can alcohol be added to non-alcohol sanitizer?
No, adding alcohol to non-alcohol sanitizer is unlikely to be effective. Alcohol-based sanitizers are formulated according to prescribed guidelines. It is recommended that consumers do not make sanitizers by adding alcohol, as it may not provide the required safety. If made incorrectly, alcohol-based sanitizers can cause burns and have adverse effects on the skin as well. Ensure the alcohol-based sanitizers are approved by certified health regulatory bodies.
Are alcohol-based sanitizers flammable?
Hand sanitizers are flammable, and it is important to keep them away from heat, flame, or electric sparks. Hand rubs should be rubbed until the hands are completely dry.
Which component is harmful in Alcohol-based sanitizers?
The components used to make an alcohol-based sanitizer should be approved by regulatory agencies. FDA recommends that sanitizers with potential methanol contamination should be discontinued.
It’s better to stay safe than sorry!
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers serve several advantages. Accessible and less time-consuming, alcohol-based sanitizers swiftly kill microorganisms in hand. Before moving forward, it is important to note that the efficacy of sanitizers also depends on the type of alcohol used, the technique used and the quantity applied. It is advisable to take a generous portion of sanitizer on your palms and thoroughly rub all over, ensuring complete coverage. Recommended by authorities and medical practitioners, alcohol-based sanitizers are an ideal fit for your journey to good health.
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