Hand sanitizers have become synonymous with health and protection ever since the pandemic shook the world. People around the globe have made it a habit to never leave the house without sanitizers, even if they leave without their wallets!
It is a known fact that hand sanitizers help in keeping Covid-19 and many other common viral/bacterial infections at bay. But for sanitization to be most effective, it is important to choose the right sanitizer that is clinically proven to kill the target microorganism.
What are hand sanitizers? Are they really beneficial?
Hand sanitizers are alcohol-based solutions that help kill microorganisms or germs present on a surface like the palm of the hand or tabletop. Researchers have long proven with supporting evidence that alcohol is a very good disinfectant, and when used in the right amount and way, it can offer the desired effect. The alcohol majorly found in sterilizers used in hospitals and in hand sanitizers is ethanol (ethyl alcohol) or isopropanol. However, the strength and the type of alcohol used to make sanitizers differ based on the type of application. For example, it differs for infections caused by different microorganisms like bacteria, fungi, and viruses and also for different types of infections caused by the same microorganisms.
Usually, the strength of alcohol used in commonly available hand sanitizers include at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol. They are beneficial in providing protection against most microorganisms.
Why have they become the buzz of the town lately?
Nobody can deny the fact that the Covid-19 induced pandemic has upset our routine or ‘normal’ state of mind and health of people worldwide. People are constantly hitting the internet to find ways to protect themselves from risks of infection. Constant updates from the medical fraternity and viral videos on social media have increased the craze one notch higher.
We shouldn’t, of course, believe in all Covid-related updates doing the rounds on social media and WhatsApp, and much less on safety products that are being suggested by unauthorized sources (WhatsApp forwards). However, we must guard ourselves at all times by taking necessary precautions- masks and standard sanitizers.
Mechanism of alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
Alcohols denature the protein composition of microorganisms. Almost every organism has its outer membrane made majorly by proteins. Alcohol disturbs the protein structure that holds the microorganisms in shape, and destroys the genetic material ensuring that the organisms don’t get to replicate and survive.
There are many hand sanitizers commercially available in the market. But, choosing the right hand sanitizer determines better protection and can prevent one from falling sick. However, considering the graveness of the current stage of the pandemic, it is important to be picky before buying a sanitizer. Following are some key factors to take into consideration:
- Alcohol concentration
As said above, a sanitizer is only as effective as the amount of alcohol present in it. Ideally, a quality sanitizer should contain at least 60 to 95 percent alcohol (either ethanol or isopropanol). So, it is important to choose a sanitizer that has enough alcohol in it.
Sanitizers come in different forms – liquid, gel, and foam. Though there is not much difference in the effectiveness or any clinical property, gel sanitizers are considerably better than the other forms. Mainly because they do not evaporate early and do not cause much dryness after use.
It is advisable to go for sanitizers that have the least fragrances in them because if sanitizers are to be loaded with fragrance molecules, the amount of alcohol in them will be compromised.
The Just Human hand sanitizer, which offers up to 24 hours of protection against germs and viruses, might be the right solution for you.
The third wave is picking up speed, and the fourth could be just a few months away. So, it is only safe to do all the shopping online to avoid as much contact with the outside world as possible.
You can order the 24-hour protection – Just Human hand sanitizer from the Just Human site and get it delivered within 48 to 72 hours.
You can also search for the Just Human hand sanitizer on any of the e-commerce sites (that have personal care and hygiene products) and stay assured that while using the hand sanitizer, you are protected from infections.
When to use a sanitizer for optimum protection?
Though hand sanitizers offer protection against infections, they cannot replace everyday baths and washing hands. So, here are some tips as to how and when to use a sanitizer for better protection.
- Sanitize your hands immediately after touching any foreign body like a hand rest, bus pole, elevator button, etc.
- Use a sanitizer after shaking hands with someone.
- Do not consider replacing a hand wash with a hand sanitizer.
- Use a sanitizer before touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.
- Make sure you sanitize your hands after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
- Sanitize hands after washing with soap and water, especially when there is a visible amount of dirt.
How to use a hand sanitizer?
It is not safe to be dismissive of the truth and forget to carry a sanitizer wherever one goes. And most importantly, the maximum safety and effectiveness of a sanitizer depend on how one uses a sanitizer. There are systematic steps that one needs to follow for applying hand sanitizer and disinfecting hands.
- Pour about a coin size of the hand sanitizer on your palm.
- Spread to let the sanitizer flow into the spaces between fingers, the backside of the hands, and inside the nails.
- Rub at least for 20 seconds until the sanitizer dries.
Since hand sanitizers are inflammable, follow precautionary measures to not bring sanitizers near flame or gas or direct fire like near petrol pumps or LPG.
How else can one prevent themselves from an infection?
We may have been acquainted with a hand sanitizer only a few years back, mostly just to prevent ourselves from Covid. But it is high time that we realized that there are many infections like Covid waiting out there to prey on susceptible people like those who are immune-compromised (people with HIV, cancer, etc.) or with metabolic disorders like diabetes, hypertension, etc. So, it is extremely important to vaccinate against existing infections and maintain proper hygiene everywhere.