Covid-19 is undoubtedly a wake-up call for personal hygiene. Washing hands using sanitizer may probably save all of us from bacteria and viruses. When you are on a shopping spree, riding or casually going out, it’s not always possible to wash hands the usual way. This is where our alcohol-based hand sanitizers come handy.
Especially, when we are combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, frequent use of sanitizer is being recommended by the government itself. But there are some unpleasant side effects of using hand sanitizer every day. We share a few:
6 Reasons Why You Should Avoid Hand Sanitizers
Excessive use can disrupt your microbiomes
Sanitizer is a little better at killing bacteria and that is how it keeps us safe from a variety of diseases. But another aspect of this is that sanitizer kills off all the required bacteria which in turn can wreak havoc in our healthy bacterial community. The only solution to this is that people should use hand sanitizer cautiously and only when they don’t have access to soap and water.
Excessive use can create stronger bacteria
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, hand sanitizer with antibacterial ingredients can contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistance bacteria. So, in order to prevent creating those scary little microbes, washing your hands the usual way instead of using sanitizer should be practised, as much as possible. The antibiotic-resistant bacteria can develop the ability to tolerate the drug that otherwise should be able to kill them.
Hand sanitizers cannot effectively remove dirt and grime
Hand sanitizer is of no use if your hands are visibly soiled. Hand sanitizer does not necessarily remove dirt and is less effective at killing germs when hands are dirty.
Excessive use can make your hands dry
When you are using hand sanitizer regularly you might have noticed your hands become incredibly dry. The alcohol in hand sanitizer can dry out your skin, but this can be fixed by using hand moisturizer and staying hydrated. Or simply opt for soap and water to clean your hands. The moral of the story is handwashing is the king, guys!
Ingesting and inhaling sanitizer every day can increase your risk of alcohol poisoning
If you ingest hand sanitizer, you carry with yourself a risk of alcohol poisoning. Touching some on your lips by accident is not an issue. But if you gulp some mouthful, you might be in trouble. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) notes that children are particularly at risk of ingesting hand sanitizer, especially if it’s scented, bright coloured or attractively packaged. So, keep it away from the reach of children.
If you work with chemicals, hand sanitizer can prove dangerous
A note of caution! If you work with chemicals all day, you surely need to make sure your hands are clean at the end of the shift. If you work with ultra-strong cleaning, de-greasing agents and pesticides, hand sanitizer is the last thing you should reach out for. This is because the combination of liquid gel and chemicals can be really harmful to your body.
According to a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, farmworkers who used hand sanitizer had increased levels of pesticides in their bodies as opposed to those who didn’t use the sanitizer.