We all have been hearing about the importance of sanitization from past 2 years. This is because the Corona Virus which took the world on a back seat made us realise how important it is to keep our hands and body clean. We at OnlyMyHealth embark the importance of washing hands regularly and are promoting awareness about hand washing regularly. Washing hands can save many lives but still many people remain confused because of myths revolving around hand sanitization. To mark Global Hand Washing Day, we have come with this article to tell you about some myths and facts about hand washing which you must know in order to stay healthy.
How important is Washing Hands Regularly?
Dr. Sumeet Nigam, General Physician in Sahara Hospital, Lucknow says that regular hand washing is as important as having food. This is because there are lot of germs, virus and bacterial infections that are present in our environment which can affect your health. Hence to stay away from those diseases, one of the most important measures is to wash hands regularly with soap.
There are many myths about washing hands which must be busted in order to promote health. For example- many people believe that washing hands is only important when you touch something dirty or after you have had food. This is completely false, because micro germs that are not visible may affect your health and result to life-threatening diseases.
Myths And Facts About Hand Washing
1. Wearing Gloves is More Effective than Hand Washing
It is strange that people believe that gloves are more hygienic than washing hands. You must have noticed increase in the number of people wearing gloves while shopping, preparing food etc. Well, gloves do protect germs from your hands to infect the other person or food, but gloves may also have bacteria stuck in it which can infect the other person or object.
Wearing gloves can actually be less safe than direct hands, because you never know what is present on the gloves, dust, bacteria, virus or anything else that may multiply coming in contact with another person. Washing hands with soap is always a better option as it is more reliable. Therefore hand washing is still the best method to limit contamination.
2. Hot water is more effective while washing hands
In order to bust the myths, this one is very important. A large number of people believe that washing hands with hot water has better effectiveness over normal temperature water. In COVID times people started bathing, drinking and washing hands with hot water, this misunderstanding was created by social media and different sources showing different aspects. The truth is it does not matter how hot the water is until you apply soap on your hands.
You cannot put boiling water on your skin as it can burn you. Only boiling water can remove germs from your body which is not an ideal situation one should put himself in. Also ideal temperature for hand washing is around 35-45 degree Celsius. Hotter the water, more is effectiveness is a myth.
3. Dryers are more hygienic method to hands
Hand dryers are used widely is many restaurants and households. Many people believe that they are more hygienic way to dry hands. But this is a myth because the fact this air dryers increase the amount of bacteria in your hands after you wash them. The reason is that the air blowers throw air which also contains bacteria that gets stuck on the moist hands which is ideal place for bacteria growth.
Therefore it is better to use hand towels that can actually store bacteria and wash the towels with anti-bacterial detergents. Another safe way is to use disposable paper towels which can prevent you from harmful bacteria growth.
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4. You can leave your hands wet after washing
This is a very big misconception and can be a reason for various diseases. Germs can be transferred easily on the wet surfaces and wet hands can be an excellent place for them to stay. Even if not germs, bacteria and virus gets easily accumulated over wet surfaces and it can make you sick. It is best to dry your hands after washing them thoroughly.
5. Alcohol hand sanitizers are better than hand washing
People have started believing that hand sanitizers are better than washing hands with soap. This is actually not true and people must be aware of it. Hand sanitizers do prevent virus and bacterial infection from affecting your body. But it also contains alcohol and there may be places that do not get sanitized properly which might create chance of infections. If you have the option of washing hands with soap, it is always better and safe option.
Also in many cases people face skin problems because of using excessive hand sanitizers. On this Global Hand Washing day we tend to promote washing hands with soap more often than using hand sanitizers unless necessary.
6. Only wash hands with anti-bacterial soap
You may have heard a lot of people saying this in recent times that you must wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap to prevent health problems. This is also not true, any type of soap is useful in killing bacteria and virus, it is just that especially made anti-bacterial soaps have more concentration of anti-bacterial agents which is slightly more effective.
However those anti-bacterial soaps are often harsh on the skin and can create dryness and skin issues if used excessively. Hence any soap can be used to wash hands as long as you do it on regular intervals.
7. It does not matter how long soap is applied
There have been many TV commercials and articles suggesting the importance of washing hands using soap thoroughly for around 20 seconds. If you do not apply soap properly and rub it well between fingers, then it won’t be as effective as it should be. One must wash his hands for minimum 20 seconds to prevent diseases and infections.
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8. You only need to wash hands after using washrooms or having food
This is a very serious myth which needs to be busted on this Global Hand Washing Day. Let people know that washing hands at continuous regular intervals is important to prevent any type of viral infection or disease. One should wash hands after every 30 minutes to 1 hour to prevent bacteria growth. This needs to be done along with washing hands with soap after having food or using washrooms at any place.
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