Coronavirus: Over-Reliance On Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers Causes More Harm Than Good

Washing hands with alcohol-based hand sanitizers or soap too many times will not protect you against coronavirus. Instead of getting protection, alcohol-based hand sanitizers can actually raise the risk of infection through skin disorders.

The new virus that causes the disease officially known as COVID-19, has so far infected more than 75,000 people and killed 2,500 worldwide.

Warning against over-reliance on alcohol-based hand sanitizers has been issued by the Japanese consumer and chemical products maker Kao Corp. It said: “Of course, it is necessary to wash hands and use alcohol-based hand sanitizers in order to reduce transmission of the new virus, but overdoing anything is not good”.

Adverse Effects
  • Kao Corp further warned, “Excessively using alcohol-based sanitizers and washing hands could remove “normal bacterial flora” that coat the skin and fend off invasion of pathogenic agents such as a norovirus”.
  • Following the coronavirus outbreak, sale of alcohol-based hand sanitizers increased in Japan.
  • The increase in sale was reported following the advice by health pundits who overemphasized the importance of preventive steps.
  • Alcohol, known for having disinfectant properties, has been frequently used to keep hands free of bacteria and viruses.
  • At the same time, however, disinfection with alcohol deprives skin of oil and water and can result in rough hands of done in excess.
What you should Do
  • Don’t over wash your hands with chemical substances. It will cause skin irritation and other problems.
  • Alcohol-based handwash disrupts normal barrier of skin. Don’t make it more vulnerable to irritation.
  • Instead of relying too much on alcohol-based handwash, you should wash hands with a moderate amount of soap for more than 30 seconds in an effective manner.
  • Kao Corp has urged consumers in Japan to firmly wipe their hands with a paper towel or a clean towel after washing them, as wet conditions could lead to skin disorders and make it easier for pathogenic agents including viruses to attach to hands.
  • To stuntmen skin’s barrier function, apply lotion or cream containing moisturizing ingredients. It will also protect skin from chapping.
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