We all know that frequent hand washing is important to prevent the spread of infectious germs and bacteria to and from those we have both direct and indirect contact with. However, it is not always convenient to wash.
With all of us now frequently using air travel for business and pleasure, hand sanitiser is a must have. Eating on a plane during turbulent weather when seat belts should not be removed or bathrooms are occupied prevent you from always washing up first. These incidences are perfect for using alcohol-based hand sanitisers. You merely places a small amount on your hands and then rubs them together until dry. No water, soap, or paper towels are necessary.
You can even remove a small amount of the sanitiser from a larger commercial container and place it into almost any clean, more convenient-sized bottle to improve its portability. The CDC recommends storing liquid hand-care products in either disposable containers or containers that can be washed with soap and water before refilling. Containers must not be refilled or topped up when partially empty, as that can lead to bacterial contamination of resistant organisms.
Hand sanitisers are now compulsory in hospitals and can be found throughout the corridors in large dispensing units, usually attached to the wall. The dental industry has also approved use of sanitisers in dental surgeries before placing gloves on and after removing them.
Of course hand sanitisers cannot replace vigorous scrubbing with soap and water to remove obvious dirt, grease, and grime. Nevertheless, using hand sanitiser in these situations when hand washing is not and option has still shown to reduce the bacterial spread.
It's also worth noting that frequent hand washing with soap and antiseptics can cause chronic dermatitis, eczema and hand irritation. Damage to the skin can change the skin flora, resulting in staphylococci and other harmful bacteria. Because alcohol-based sanitisers is less irritating to the skin, use may actually improve hand hygiene.
Studies have also shown that computers and laptops can contain more germs than a toilet seat. Its a great practice to use hand sanitiser before or after we finish working on our keyboards and regularly use alcohol based bacterial wipes to clean down working areas, particularly if you eat at your desk.
Hand sanitisers have become a way of life and should be stationed in the car, office, hand bags and sports bag to encourage regular use and keep everyone healthy.