Daily Hand Sanitizer Use May Be Harmful

We all are using hand sanitizers much more than ever before. Proper handwashing and using sanitizer whenever washing hands is not possible, can save all of us from bacteria and viruses. When you are outside, riding in a car, playing in a park or just shopping, it's not always possible to use soap and water to wash hands. This is where we all have to rely on our alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Especially during times like these when we are combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, frequent use of sanitizer is recommended by the government itself. But there are some unpleasant side effects of using hand sanitizer every day. 

Excessive use can disrupt your microbiomes

Sanitizer is a little too good at killing bacteria and that is how it keeps us safe from a variety of illnesses. But another aspect of this is, sanitizer can affect the body's microbiomes in a few ways, which can be bad for us. Sanitizer kills off the bacteria that are beneficial for our body, which in turn can wreak havoc in our healthy bacterial community. The only solution to this is that people should use hand sanitizer with caution 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 instead of reaching for the bottle of sanitizer should be practiced, 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

If your hands are visibly soiled, hand sanitizer won't work. Hand sanitizer does not remove dirt and is less effective at killing germs viruses when the hands are soiled. This rule is the same in a situation like when you change a diaper, empty the trash box or clean a dirty surface. 

​​Excessive use can make your hands dry

If you are using hand sanitizer every day, you might have noticed your hands have 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. Are you getting the gist? Handwashing is the king, guys!

​Ingesting and inhaling sanitizer every day can increase your risk of alcohol poisoning

If you ingest hand sanitizer, which is a terrible idea, you are at a risk of alcohol poisoning. If you touch some on your lips by accident, it's 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

If you work with chemicals all day, you surely want 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 for 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. 

 

Asianet.in/ Desk: Asianet Online