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Hand Sanitizer - Should You Use One?

Hand sanitizer is usually a diluted liquid, foam or gel typically used to kill most of the harmful bacteria/organisms but not all bacteria/on the hand. In most settings, hand sanitizing with plain water and soap is usually preferred. In homes, it is mostly required for employees working in high spreading areas like hospitals, clinics, schools and office spaces etc. Hand sanitizers are available at supermarkets and chemists. You can also find various varieties over the counter at various stores.


Some other sanitizing agents preferred by some consumers are alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not easily available. Alcohols are considered safer than antibacterial agents because they do not cause any skin reaction. However, in recent times, many people have experienced contact dermatitis after using alcohol-based sanitizers. An alcohol-based sanitizer kills more strains of germs than antibacterial agents. Unfortunately, the higher price of alcohol-based sanitizers has discouraged many consumers from using them. Some companies have developed an alcohol-based sanitizing agent called sorbitol but it has not gained much popularity.

The best sanitizers are the ones that contain the active ingredient such as Epson salt, picolinate or chlorine dioxide. These agents have been tested and proven to kill many types of germs such as bacteria, virus, fungi, mold and algae. Benzyl peroxide sanitizers are considered safe for use if hands are washed with plenty of water and soap. But, when the concentration of benzyl peroxide reaches a level of twenty percent or more, then this sanitizer can cause dermatitis.


Most consumers do not consider that the majority of serious health care professionals agree that the use of hand sanitizers is necessary. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, hand sanitizers reduce the risk of infection by more than eighty percent. The use of such products has also been recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) because these agents can effectively remove bacteria and viruses that may cause illness and make people more prone to certain types of illness and diseases. In fact, in studies conducted by the CDC, nearly one half of the people who utilized these products and those who did not experienced less than minor adverse events.


There are some things that consumers can do to minimize the adverse effects of sanitizers. In fact, one of the ways to minimize the risks of contracting infection is to ensure that hands are washed with warm or hot water and antibacterial soap frequently. Hand sanitizing liquids should be used in hot water and should never be used on cold water. This is because these liquids are more effective when they are used on a hot day and work better if held underneath the tongue. Furthermore, a wide variety of natural and organic hand cleansers are available on the market that do not contain alcohol, which has the potential to irritate the skin.

Another thing that many health care professionals recommend is that a person purchase a natural, unscented hand rub or facial wash instead of antibacterial hand sanitizers. Many people prefer natural and organic hand cleansers because they do not contain any harmful chemicals. In addition, these products are much easier to find. Finally, as with any other health product, a person can purchase an unscented mouthwash and keep regular flossing and brushing to prevent infection in the mouth. Indeed, most health care experts recommend that people stay away from antibacterial soaps and stick to natural and organic hand rubs and facial washes.

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