Common myths about hand sanitizers that you need to wash away


Hand sanitizers: Those alcohol-based rubs that everybody out of your grandmother to the nook retailer is stocking in five-litre cans lately. While it’s true that they’ve antiseptic properties due to the 60%-90% alcohol, dermatologists remind us that they don’t seem to be a one-liquid-fits-all-problems resolution.

Here, widespread myths they encounter, and the reality we must always all know.

Myth 1: Hand sanitizer is the no. 1 resolution to conserving germs at bay

Truth: Soap and water is — when you scrub for 20 seconds. Also, too frequent use of sanitizer could make you extra inclined to allergic reactions in the long term, says Dr Radha Gongati, senior marketing consultant dermatology, Apollo TeleHealth, Hyderabad. When in contrast to the corresponding months of March to June in 2019, the variety of pores and skin allergy instances she has encountered doubled in 2020. “Where earlier I saw five or six cases in a month, now I have received nine hand eczema (a condition where the skin becomes dry, flaky and itchy) complaints in a month — a few new cases and a few existing ones that got aggravated,” she says.

While a little bit bottle of sanitizer is simple to carry, use it solely when you don’t have any entry to cleaning soap and water.

However, medical doctors says there is no such thing as a conclusive examine to point out that the rise in pores and skin allergic reactions is due to extreme or steady use of hand sanitizers. “We speak based principally on clinical observations,” says Dr Hema Sathish, a Madurai-based pores and skin specialist, who has seen a spike in eczema in her on-line consultancy over the previous three months.

Washing of arms with cleaning soap beneath operating water

Myth 2: As lengthy as I exploit sanitizer, I’m secure

Truth: “Sanitizers give people a false sense of security of being 100% disease-free. Though its use is beneficial, it is not 100% protective,” says Dr Gongati. It’s vital to keep away from needlessly touching surfaces in public locations, as an illustration. Also, do take into accounts that after the preliminary scarcity, many domestically manufactured sanitizers (typically with out obligatory labeling) have flooded the market during which the composition and mixture of elements (chemical compounds and alcohol) can differ. Ideally, sanitizer ought to evaporate inside a number of seconds of utility. If it doesn’t, and stays watery, you know it might not have the required quantity of alcohol. Good high quality sanitizers are a little bit thick in consistency and unfold evenly on the arms.

While shopping for a sanitizer, examine if it incorporates triclosan, a strong anti-bacterial agent utilized in pesticides. It is instantly absorbed by the pores and skin and might act on thyroid functioning, inflicting injury over the long run to liver and muscle tissues. Synthetic fragrances in sanitizers may be poisonous and act as endocrine disruptors (chemical compounds that intervene with hormonal programs). Also keep in mind that sanitizers are inflammable and might burn close to hearth. You need to retailer them in air-tight bottles in cool and dry locations.

Myth 3: If I’ve no cleaning soap, it’s greatest to use sanitizer

Truth: “Grease and dirt in combination with sanitizer attract more viruses and germs instead of working on them. Always remember, water cleans and sanitizer disinfects,” says Dr Sathish. The affect of sanitizer can also be minimised when utilized on moist arms. If you don’t have cleaning soap, keep away from dealing with meals altogether, as a result of if you eat instantly after making use of sanitizer, it might affect your digestive system, making kids significantly weak due to the chemical compounds. If it’s one thing you’re consuming out of a packet, try to manipulate the packaging in a manner that your arms don’t contact the meals.

Myth 4: A dab of sanitizer obliterates Coronavirus

Truth: Just utilizing a tiny drop of sanitizer is meaningless, says Dr Sathish. You need to squirt a copious quantity — sufficient to fill your palm when you cup your hand. Rub it gently throughout, together with between the fingers and the again of your arms, till your arms are absolutely dry. The intention is to coat the hand to type a protecting movie, so keep away from scrubbing like you would with cleaning soap.

On the opposite finish of the spectrum are these, typically folks with OCD, who wash their facial masks with sanitizers. This might trigger the vapors to get trapped within the material and the fumes may cause nausea and vomiting.