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Skin antiseptic has become a symbol of our time, along with a medical mask. More and more people during an outbreak of viral infections are trying to protect themselves from infection and pay special attention to clean hands.
However, before purchasing bottles with this tool, you need to find out how and when you should handle your hands, as well as what excessive diligence or, conversely, neglect of the rules can lead to.
How often should and can you handle your hands?
An antiseptic is an effective remedy in the fight against viruses and pathogenic bacteria, but it should be used wisely.
Doctors advise using this remedy when absolutely necessary, 2-3 times a day and only in public places where the risk of infection is highest. In other situations, you should give preference to regular soap.
The drug is used not only to combat possible viruses, but also, if necessary, clean your hands in those places where soap cannot be used. For example, on a trip, on the beach, after using a public toilet, before eating at a picnic, etc. After all, the drug destroys not only viruses, but also pathogenic bacteria, which are the causative agents of various diseases (for example, E. coli).
When can you not process it?
You can forget about skin antiseptics if you are at home. Soap is enough to clean your hands. There is no need for it even during the "calm" period, when there is no risk of contracting an infection.
Attention! With strong, noticeable dirt, the disinfectant will not help.
Leave the product in your bag or pocket if you're wearing gloves. Moreover, the use of an antiseptic over latex gloves leads to the destruction of the protective surface of the latter.
How to use it correctly?
When buying a similar drug in your first-aid kit, follow the recommendations of doctors on the composition of the product and its use.
In order for the antiseptic to perform its disinfectant function, follow a simple application algorithm:
- Read the drug label carefully. Make sure it contains at least 60% alcohol or 2% chlorhexidine plus a moisturizer.
- Read the instructions for use, in particular, how much antiseptic is needed for a single treatment (at least 3 ml).
- Squeeze or spray into the palm of your hand and spread it evenly over the entire surface of your hands in a circular motion.
- Thoroughly rub the areas between your fingers, around and under your nails, and your wrists.
- Processing time must be at least 30 seconds.
- After the antiseptic, apply a moisturizer or protective hand cream.
Hand processing should last at least 30 seconds, otherwise the lipid envelope of the virus will not break down and it will remain viable. You do not need to wipe off the remnants of the antiseptic - they will quickly be absorbed on their own.
The World Health Organization recommends using an antiseptic during an outbreak every time you come into contact with contaminated or dirty objects, such as money.
Besides, WHO advises not to panic about the shortage of disinfectants in pharmacies, because you can cook them yourself.
Doctors confirm that most viral infections are due to dirty hands. A person touches surfaces on which particles with a virus remain, and then through the mucous membranes the disease penetrates into the body. Therefore, regular hand washing with soap or an antiseptic reduces the chance of infection.
But these tools also have disadvantages:
- gradually, the virus develops resistance to disinfectant components;
- not only pathogenic organisms are destroyed, but also the fatty protective layer of the skin (with excessive use of the product, immunity gradually decreases).
The manufacturer, indicating the shelf life on the package (on average, 3 years), takes into account the period when the active components of the antiseptic will perform their function. After opening the bottle, a gradual evaporation of alcohol begins, due to which its concentration decreases significantly and the drug becomes unable to destroy viruses and bacteria.
Therefore, the use of an expired drug is pointless, and in some cases even dangerous. Indeed, in addition to alcohol, the composition contains other components that, after a specified time, may lose stability, which will cause chemical burns.
Can it be used by children?
For newborns up to 2 months old, it is impossible to treat the skin with an alcohol-based antiseptic - the baby's skin is designed so that alcohol is absorbed. In other cases, you can use the drug, but strictly under the supervision of parents to avoid swallowing the liquid or getting it into the eyes.
Is it possible for pregnant women?
During pregnancy, a woman's immunity decreases, so an antiseptic is necessary for her, as a way to protect herself and the unborn child. Gynecologists recommend using chlorhexidine-based products, as it is less aggressive than alcohol-containing products. But the use of "natural" antiseptics based on medicinal plants should be abandoned - they are ineffective.
IMPORTANT! With age, the skin becomes thinner and prone to dryness, so older people should use an antiseptic carefully, only if absolutely necessary, and be sure to moisturize the skin with a cream or gel.
An antiseptic should not be used in the following cases:
- with individual intolerance to the components;
- with open wounds, rashes, microcracks and irritations on the skin;
- under the age of 2 months.
What "sanitizer" can not be used?
You cannot treat your hands with pure alcohol; a good preparation must include moisturizing ingredients, for example, aloe gel or glycerin. This is necessary due to the peculiarity of technical or medical alcohols on the basis of which the product is produced. Their effect can not only destroy the protective fat layer of the skin of the hands, but also cause itching, redness and microcracks, through which the risk of the virus entering the human body increases.
IMPORTANT! Even if there are moisturizing ingredients in the composition, you should not neglect the use of a moisturizer or protective hand cream. It is recommended to apply it to the skin after each use of the antiseptic.
Doctors say that it is impossible to use an antiseptic based on vodka or other alcoholic beverages. Such products, most often homemade, are ineffective protection, since the disinfector is useful only when it contains at least 60% alcohol. Such a concentration is capable of destroying the fatty membrane of viruses, due to which they attach to the cells of the human body. In vodka or other alcohol, the concentration of alcohol is significantly lower.
If you follow simple rules, an antiseptic will be an excellent weapon in the fight against viruses. Do not use it too often. Choose commercial products, homemade ones can harm your health. The drug should not be used after the expiration date, and after each procedure, apply a moisturizer to the skin of your hands.