These days it is common to see hand sanitizers in most public spaces, offices etc. But is the use of these sanitizers good for our health?

Hand Sanitizers were invented to clean our body of germs and prevent sickness in situations where washing hands is not possible. When it comes to cleaning our hands of germs, the sanitizers can certainly kill upto 99% of germs. But this happens only when you use them properly. You need to rub the sanitizer all over your hands and wait for the liquid to dry. Rubbing or wiping away the sanitizer prevents it from working optimally.

This is a great solution for situations where you are exposed to germs but have no access to soap and water. For example, when you use a staircase in a hospital building and place your hand on the railing, you are exposed to germs. Instead of looking for a washroom, it is easier to just use a sanitizer in this scenario. So there are many situations where sanitizers are useful.

But sanitizers are alcohol based and rob our hands of moisture if used too much. It can lead to dry and itchy skin. You should also remember that you can catch a virus from droplets in air, so using a sanitizer is no guarantee that you will not fall sick. If your hands are visibly unclean, sanitizer is not of much use. Washing your hands with soap and water remains the best solution. Sanitizers should be used only when washing hands is not possible.

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Lavanya Mehra


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