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Hand sanitiser: WHO explains how much amount to use and how often

Alcohols in sanitisers have not been shown to create any relevant health issues, says WHO

WHO says it is safe to use alcohol-based hand sanitiser often. (Source: getty images/file)

Hand sanitisers have become an integral part of precautionary measures against COVID-19. Hand hygiene has become crucial to prevent transmission of the virus.

World Health Organisation (WHO) has shared some tips and facts to keep in mind while using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

*What is the amount of alcohol-based hand sanitiser you should use?

WHO recommends applying a palmful of sanitiser to cover all surfaces of the hands. Rub your hands together using the right technique until they are dry. The entire procedure should last 20-30 seconds.

*Is it safe to use alcohol-based sanitisers?

“Alcohols in sanitisers have not been shown to create any relevant health issues,” WHO mentioned on Instagram. Only a small amount of alcohol is absorbed into the skin; most products also contain an emollient (that has a soothing effect on the skin) to reduce skin dryness.

*How often can you use a hand sanitiser?

While experts also recommend using soap and water to wash your hands, it is safe to use hand sanitisers frequently. An alcohol-based sanitiser does not create antibiotic resistance, says WHO. “Unlike other antiseptics and antibiotics, pathogens (harmful germs) do not seem to develop resistance to alcohol-based sanitisers.”

Also Read |Check your hand sanitiser’s quality with these simple tests at home

*Can touching a communal bottle of hand sanitiser infect you?

No, says WHO. “Once you have sanitised your hands, you have disinfected them from any germs that may have been on the bottle. If everyone uses sanitiser in a public place…the risk of germs on communal items will be lower and will keep everyone safe.”

*Cleaning hands frequently or wearing gloves? Which is better?

Wearing gloves could risk the transfer of germs from one surface to another. You may also end up contaminating your hands while removing them. If you are wearing gloves, make sure to sanitise your hands after their removal. “Wearing gloves does not replace cleaning hands. Health workers wear gloves only for specific tasks,” mentions WHO.

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