We are constantly surrounded by living micro-organisms that inhabit the objects of our daily use. But did you know that these hidden microbes invisible to the naked eye are capable of rendering you sick? These are bacteria, viruses, parasites or other germs which bear the ability to stick to the outer protective layer of skin and multiply. Then, they enter inside the human body through the natural openings and cause diseases. The human body is conducive for the growth of micro-organisms.
Hand washing is a preliminary step toward the prevention of illnesses. The benefits of handwashing include:
- Restriction of the entry of microorganisms into the body.
- Prevention of the contagious spread of microbes.
- Decrease in the cross-contamination in food via dirty hands
- Prevention of eye and respiratory infections.
- Reduction of exorbitant expenses on medical treatment of ailments.
It has an advantage over the regular soap as it possesses active anti-bacterial activity. It is especially utilized in high-risk areas such as in hospitals. Although, its regular domestic use should be avoided for the risk of developing anti-bacterial resistance.
An alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a good alternative to anti-bacterial soaps due to its portability and non-requirement of water for cleansing. Just rub your hands together to cover all the areas. Perform it for at least 20 seconds.
Do note that the anti-bacterial soaps and hand sanitizers are inefficient against superbugs.
Hospitals, nursing clinics and other healthcare facilities deploy more effective antiseptics. These include chlorhexidine, alcohol, iodophors etc.
Proper hand washing technique:
- Wash your hands thoroughly under the running water.
- Use a soap bar or generous amounts of liquid solution to generate good lather.
- Rub both the hands against each other.
- Rub palm of one hand on the dorsum of the other
- Clean the tip and the back of the fingers and the wrist.
- Rinse hands thoroughly with water.
Operating room utilizes a special scrub area where surgeons perform ‘Surgical Hand Scrub.’ This cleansing initiates from the hands and extends two-three inches above the elbows. The purpose is to eliminate the superficial impurities, minimise the microbial count on the surface of hands and prevent the regrowth.
Hence, cultivating the habit of handwashing decreases the probability of future illnesses and helps you stay healthy.