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HEALTH HINTS

Hand Hygiene on the Go

By: Claire Yu ContrerasHand Hygiene on the Go

Hands up everyone! Did you know that anything you do or touch with your hands is exposed to bacteria? Whether we go out to eat, touch something, or hold hands with someone, there is no guarantee that our hands are completely clean and safe.

With medical advancements and technologies, there are alcohol-based hand sanitizers that are handy, safe, and effective. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol-based sanitizers are the most effective products and the preferred method for cleaning hands when hands are not visibly dirty. However, soap and water are still recommended for cleaning visibly dirty hands. Both methods are effective for reducing germs on the hands, but alcohol-based sanitizers get the upper hand since it can clean visible and not visibly dirty hands.

Some hand hygiene tips when you’re on the go:

  • It’s best to always carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer (gel or spray) or a rubbing alcohol in your bag in case you need to clean your hands, especially wherever you’re outside or where soap and water are not accessible or usable.
  • When using alcohol-based sanitizers, rub hands together and cover all surfaces until hands are dry. It should take around 20 seconds for hand sanitizers to dry and clean your hands. You might notice some rough fibers while rubbing your hands with the product – that is actually dirt.
  • Since alcohol can make your hands dry, use hand cream or hand lotion after washing to moisturize the hands and prevent skin dryness.
  • Keep fingernails clean by trimming them less than ¼ long and clean the nail bed.
  • Some studies have shown that skin underneath rings contains more germs. Remove any pieces of jewelry on your hands before washing or rubbing hand sanitizers and clean your accessories before wearing them again.

It’s handy and convenient to have such hygiene products on the go for everyday protection. It will surely be a lifesaver in preventing any ill-causing germs, especially in sometimes unexpected situations.

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