Hey there! Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, hand sanitizer has become a necessity in daily life. It’s like these regularly used products have become overnight sensations. But how useful are they really?
Hand Sanitizers are considered to be better than soaps. Mainly because of how easy they are to use. On top of that, alcohol-based sanitizers are said to be very effective against microorganisms. Let’s dive a little deeper to learn more about their usefulness in this article.
Let’s begin with their benefits!
1. They Are Convenient
Imagine the scenario, you come back from work feeling tired. You think about washing your hands. So you go to the bathroom and start cleaning with soap. Here’s a fun fact.
That soap you just used… Loaded with germs! Every time you use it, you’re exposed to germs that are on the bar of soap. The germs then attach themselves to your hands, which spreads it.
That doesn’t inspire much confidence, does it? This is why hand sanitizers are a better option. The soap is liquified inside a bottle. You don’t have to worry about passing on germs while washing your hands.
On top of that, they are easy to carry and simple to use. How convenient!
2. They Are Good At Preventing Infection
Especially, when the sanitizer contains alcohol gel. As a matter of fact, there is even a study that suggests the same thing.
In another study on children, it was found that those who used hand sanitizer were less likely to develop and pass the flu. This puts hand sanitizers as clear favourites. As a matter of fact, we almost feel bad for soap.
3. They Fight Against Dry Skin
This is due to the alcohol gel in hand sanitizer. The liquified soap and water are very effective against the microorganisms that collect on your hands. Meanwhile, the alcohol gel helps retain the moisture.
On top of that, try developing another habit. During this pandemic outbreak, it may not be practical to rub your hands with a towel after you wash them. You’ll end up washing them more than you’d like.
As a result, we would suggest you try tapping your hands instead of washing them. It will help you maintain the moisture of your skin and prevent it from becoming too rough.
All of this is interesting, but we can’t really talk about the effectiveness of hand sanitizers without mentioning one important piece of research.
A Study Was Conducted Across Four States:
Delaware, Ohio, Tennessee and California. More than 6000 students from 16 schools took part. The study was to determine whether or not hand sanitizers were effective.
All children were asked to use a hand sanitizer containing alcohol gel. The results were astounding. It was found that the number of absentees among students had dropped to a mere 19%.
Interestingly, it must also be noted that the teachers were asked to take part in this study and the number of absentees came to 10%. So this study does point toward hand sanitizers being quite useful. Yet, it doesn’t paint the entire picture.
It’s time we spoke about its cons.
1. It Can Lead To Superbugs
Not all hand sanitizers contain alcohol. The ones that don’t have a different compound are called triclosan. What is triclosan? It’s an antibiotic. When you overuse them, they can be harmful.
According to one study, using too many germicides or antibiotics like triclosan can increase your risk of exposure to harmful bacteria. These bacteria are called superbugs. They are extremely dangerous and have the potential to cause a lot of deaths.
If you don’t want to deal with a superbug, you best keep your usage under control. You don’t want to run the risk of catching a superbug. Imagine a health problem that doesn’t go away easily. Now, that is scary!
2. It Can Increase Your BPA Absorption
Ever wondered why there is massive outrage around the world regarding plastic bags? Well, it’s mainly due to the amount of BPA manufacturing industries add in plastic bags. In some countries, people are asking for plastic bags without BPA.
It may not sound as dangerous, but BPA can ruin your hormonal balance. More importantly, they can negatively affect other tissues in your body.
Now you might be wondering why we are mentioning it here. Well, this is mainly because hand sanitizers increase your chances of absorbing BPA. According to a study, if you touch anything after using a hand sanitizer, it will increase your BPA absorption.
Some even suggest that a thin layer will remain on your skin after the BPA has been absorbed. That doesn’t necessarily inspire a lot of confidence in favour of hand sanitizers,
3. It’s Not Good For Your Immune System
Let’s discuss triclosan one more time. What’s it guilty of now? It’s one of the many causes of infectious disease. But how does it do it? Well you see, it contains a lot of antibacterial properties.
This damages the body and increases your chances of triggering allergies. More importantly, it can cause bacterial infections. Yes, the overdose of triclosan ends up doing the opposite of what it was supposed to do, and that is not a good thing for your body.
In a study conducted on children and teenagers, it was found that the ones who had more issues with infections and allergies also had more triclosan in their blood. On the contrary, it was found that the ones with less of this antibacterial compound in their body were less likely to develop any infections.
Talk about a paradox!
We have explained the pros and cons of using hand sanitizers. The jury is still out on whether or not they are safe to use. Before you jump to the conclusion. We think you should know more about…
The Alcohol Used In Hand Sanitizers
Since we’ve explained what triclosan can do when overused, it’s natural to be a little cautious. This should mean that alcohol-based alternatives are better, right? Well, they are very effective, but they aren’t beyond flaws.
There are usually two different types of alcohols used to make alcohol-based sanitizer. While these things don’t cause the same problems as triclosan, they still aren’t okay for children.
There have been registered cases of children accidentally consuming hand sanitizer and getting poisoned. This kind of poisoning is considered to be the same as alcohol poisoning. Experts even say that a few spews from these sanitizers are equivalent to a few hard shots.
This is why we wouldn’t suggest keeping it near kids, especially if they aren’t supervised. More importantly, this alcohol gel isn’t to be consumed. It is meant to be used to wash your hands. So whether you’re a child or an adult, please don’t even think of consuming it.
Apart from that, avoid overusing it. You don’t want to have problems with the hormonal balance in your body. You also don’t want infections or any form of allergic reaction. So limit your usage. We know it’s hard during a pandemic, but you can always limit it to a maximum of 10 or 15 a day.