Health In Your Hands

Are you cleaning your hands the right way? Here’s a guide to help you make sure

Ishani Nandi Published Apr 18, 2020 00:00:00 IST
Health In Your Hands

Soap and Water is the Way to Go

✦ Wet your hands with clean, running water (hot or cold) and apply enough soap to cover all hand surfaces.

✦ Lather your hands up to your wrist and rub them together with the soap.

✦ Scrub the soap along the backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.

✦ Continue for 20 seconds, or the time it takes to sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song from start to end—twice.

✦ Dry hands thoroughly with a single-use towel. Bacteria are more likely to stay on and transfer from moist hands.

✦ Use a towel or tissue to close the tap.


Make it Better

✦ Avoid touching faucet handles before or after washing up to prevent re-infecting clean hands. If unavoidable, use a paper towel and throw it away later. Wipe them down with disinfectant frequently at home.

✦ Wash towels in hot water every day.

✦ According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no added health benefit for consumers using soaps containing antibacterial ingredients compared with plain soap.


The Virtues of Hand Sanitizer

Washing your hands with soap and water is ideal, but if you don’t have access to either, hand sanitizers, with at least 60 per cent alcohol, is a good alternative. Here’s how to use it:

✦ Pump a coin-sized portion of the product to the palm of one hand.

✦ Rub your hands together.

✦ Cover the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.


Caution: Hand Sanitizers …

✦ ... are highly flammable.

✦ … are not effective if your hands are heavily soiled or greasy.

✦ … do not eliminate all types of germs or remove harmful chemicals, like pesticides and heavy metals.


Sources: World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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