Hand sanitizer is at the moment very important to most of us right now due to the virus. But why? Hand sanitizer works to kill germs quickly and efficiently. It provides a convenient and effective way to clean your hands if soap and water aren’t available and your hands aren’t covered in visible dirt or grease. It reduces the skin burden of bacteria much more and the amount of bacteria on the skin tends to remain lower for much longer than when soap and water are used.
It also tends to be less damaging to the skin because it has built-in emollients. People who are in occupations where there is a lot of hand washing have skin that tends to dry out easily and it can crack and become more prone to carrying bacteria. Hand sanitizer doesn’t replace soap and water, but along with regular hand washing, it definitely helps fight many important germs. But what are all the benefits of hand sanitization?
- It does not promote antimicrobial resistance
- It acts quickly to kill microorganisms on hands
- It reduces bacterial counts on hands
- It can be less irritating to the skin than soap and water
- It is more accessible than sinks
- It requires less time than hand washing
- It can be found in most public places
Research from 2016 which was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, large amounts of bacteria were found throughout workplaces. Objects such as office phones, water fountains, keyboards, computer mice, and elevator buttons are homes to the bacteria. Researchers studied 4,800 surfaces, finding particularly high “officially dirty” readings on handles like those on break room sink faucets, microwave doors, and refrigerator doors. Soap and water are typically the first lines of defense for fighting these kinds of germs. But, as Mayo Clinic physician and researcher Dr. Pritish K. Tosh notes, “You can’t just be in the bathroom washing your hands all day”. Hand sanitizer is highly convenient and able to be kept at individual desks or taken on the go for continued use.
This is why it is quite necessary to use hand sanitizer to prevent getting sick.