Hand Sanitizers and Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19), the new name for the disease being caused by the recent coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2 is all over the news. A lot of information is being presented about how help prevent Coronavirus (COVID-19) from affecting you and your family. Perhaps the most important thing to know is that medical experts agree on this: One of the best ways to stay healthy is to wash your hands with soap and water. But if those aren’t available, hand sanitizer may help rid your hands of unwanted germs.

Path to improved health

When shopping for hand sanitizer, make sure you choose a sanitizer that contains between 60-95% alcohol. Also, when you use hand sanitizer, make sure you do so the right way. Find the directions on the back of the bottle and follow the proper technique. Generally, apply the liquid to the palm of one hand. Then rub it all over both hands until the sanitizer dries. This takes about 20 seconds. Be careful not to wipe the sanitizer off before it’s dry. Doing that can make it not as effective in killing germs.

There are many times you should use hand sanitizer, such as before and after touching a surface other people have touched. It’s good to wipe down the handle of a shopping cart before you use it. It’s also wise to use sanitizer after you’ve pushed a cart around the store, after filling your vehicle with fuel, after handling money, and after touching elevator buttons or door handles. Always wash your hands (with either soap and water or hand sanitizer) after each time you cough and sneeze.

Things to consider

Using hand sanitizer frequently can make your hands very dry. If that happens, make sure your hands are dry, then apply lotion.

Remember, hand sanitizers won’t get rid of all germs on your hands. And you shouldn’t use sanitizers if your hands are greasy or dirty. There is no substitute for soap and water.

Questions for your doctor

  • Do all types of hand sanitizer contain enough alcohol?
  • How often should I apply hand sanitizer?
  • When should I apply hand sanitizer?
  • Will using a lot of hand sanitizer cause side effects on my hands?

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