Disinfect hands before or after washing? – Hand hygiene simply explained
In the context of the current pandemic, many people are wondering how the hand disinfection to the Wash your hands stands:
- In what order should you wash and disinfect your hands?
- To wash your hands properly – should you use warm or cold water?
- Why shouldn't the skin be damp before hand disinfection?
- Wash hands or disinfect - which is better for the skin?
- Is hand washing more effective than disinfectant?
In the following we would like to provide some clarity and give you the information you and your family need to get through this time healthy.
Hands are the most common carriers of pathogens. Hand hygiene is therefore essential to stay healthy and not to endanger others.
While the regular disinfection of hands was largely unusual in everyday life before the Covid 19 pandemic, disinfectants can be found almost everywhere today.
but How effective is hand sanitizing? in the fight against bacteria and pathogens really? And is Washing hands just as effectively and maybe even healthier than disinfecting? We took a closer look and compared the effect of hand washing and hand disinfection.
Dermatologists: Disinfecting hands is less aggressive to the skin
This finding may surprise many. Nevertheless, most dermatologists agree: Disinfecting hands is less damaging to the skin than frequent washing. Washing with regular soap can irritate and dry out the skin.
If you wash your hands several times a day with normal soap, you not only remove dirt and bacteria, but also fats that are important for our skin.
For people with sensitive skin, there is a risk that eczema will form due to frequent washing and the skin will dry out permanently.
Wash hands or disinfect hands – what is better for the skin?
Disinfecting hands can be a better alternative to washing, especially if you have sensitive skin . Although disinfectants also leave the skin with an unpleasant, dry feeling from time to time, the skin is less attacked.
This result has been confirmed in many dermatological studies. People who work in the healthcare sector have been using disinfectants regularly for a long time without it affecting the health of their skin.
To the Stress on your skin when disinfecting of your hands, we have one hand sanitizer was developed, which thanks to its glycerin not only protects against pathogens, but also cares for the skin. Try ours Scented hand sanitizer .
is Hand washing more effective than disinfectant?
Both washing your hands and disinfecting them help to protect against pathogens . When washing, however, hands must be washed holistically with soap for at least 30 seconds to actually completely remove pathogens.
Not every commercially available disinfectant is equally effective. Although most disinfectants provide reliable protection against pathogens, if you want to be on the safe side, you should seek advice from a professional when buying a disinfectant.
Comfortable and always at hand high-quality hand sanitizers which, in addition to the disinfecting effect, also contain care substances.
If you still prefer to wash with water, instead of using an aggressive soap from the supermarket, you should use a soap that does not attack the protective acid layer despite frequent washing and instead cares for the skin.
Incidentally, washing with water alone is neither sufficient nor advisable.
Disinfect hands before or after washing - which order?
Anyone who relies on both washing their hands and disinfecting them should always do so in the correct order. That means:
- wash hands first
- Disinfect the clean and dry hands additionally afterwards
With proper hand hygiene, hands should first be washed and then dried and disinfected. The aim is to first remove coarser dirt and then carry out the disinfection.
The right order plays an important role for the best possible hand hygiene and optimal protection against infection.
Besides that: Hands must always be completely dry before disinfecting . It's better for the skin. It is also more difficult to completely remove pathogens from damp or even wet hands with disinfectant.
So, disinfect hands before or after washing ?
Very simple: Always wash before disinfecting.
Wash hands properly – warm or cold water ?
Many people assume that warm or even hot water is better at removing dirt and bacteria. However, medical studies do not support this general view.
Cold water removes pathogens just as reliably as warm water , provided soap is used for washing.
Washing without soap does not adequately remove germs and pathogens. This applies to washing with cold, warm or hot water.
Protect hands when washing – avoid temperature extremes
In order to protect the skin when washing, it is always advisable to avoid extremes. Lukewarm water is not only pleasant, but also less aggressive to the skin.
In hotter weather, the water may also be cooler. The same applies to swollen fingers and people who tend to have water retention in their hands.
Cool water can provide relief here without impairing the cleaning effect.
The general rule: The duration of hand washing is more important than the temperature of the water .
In order to clean your hands reliably, it is not enough to simply hold your hand under the water for a few seconds. Instead, the hands must be from the fingertips to the back of the hand thoroughly with soap for about 30 seconds getting washed.
Only then are the hands reliably clean and free of pathogens.
Washing hands properly step by step – this is how it works
Proper hand washing is not complicated. So that nothing goes wrong, we have summarized step by step how to do it right, using the official advice of the research of the Robert Koch Institute and des Deutsches Ärzteblatt taken into account.
- Remove jewelry and roll back sleeves
- Moisten hands briefly with water
- Apply soap to hands
- Now lather your hands thoroughly and from all sides with soap. Don't forget the back of your hand and your fingertips.
- soap also in the spaces between the fingers Instruct. Use the other hand to apply and spread your fingers.
- Both hands in a rotating motion lather for about 30 seconds .
- Now rinse thoroughly with water. Set the temperature to the desired degree of warmth, but avoid extremes.
- Dry with a clean and fresh towel. Avoid unclean towels that have not been washed for a long time or that are used by several people. When in doubt, it is better to use paper towels.
- If desired, one after cleaning apply mild hand cream .
- As soon as the cream has been absorbed and the hands are dry, the washing process can be started by disinfecting with a hand disinfection be completed.
Care after washing hands
Frequent hand washing can remove moisture from the skin. But don't worry - to quench your hands' thirst, we've got one Aromatic Body & Hand Lotion designed to provide the skin with the nutrients it needs. Nourishing oils help leave hands soft and supple, and they smell lovely. Try it .
More hand hygiene tips – avoid dirt and bacteria in advance
Germs, fungi, viruses and bacteria are found almost everywhere. Many are harmless to us. However, not all of them. So that dangerous germs cannot multiply undisturbed in the first place, it is also important to observe hygiene rules in everyday life, apart from washing hands.
The following applies: The environment should be as clean and germ-free as possible. Germs particularly like to collect in the household in the kitchen and in the bathroom.
Hygiene at home
The bathroom and kitchen should be thoroughly cleaned and then disinfected at least once a week. Outside the house, it is not so easy to comply with hygiene rules, as the behavior of others is also important.
Hygiene outside the home
Nevertheless, contact with harmful germs can also be avoided outside the home. Do not share drinks or food with other people and keep away from objects that many other people also come into contact with.
If you want to be on the safe side, you can apply a dab of hand sanitizer after touching objects such as doorknobs and CO, as well as after shaking hands.
In closed rooms, a window should be left open whenever possible.
One thing is certain: if you take hygiene measures in advance and wash and disinfect your hands regularly, you don't have to worry about pathogens being transmitted by hand.
Disinfect hands before or after washing – now you know more. Share this information with your loved ones to help contain the pandemic and stay healthy.
What do you prefer: Hand washing or disinfecting? Share it with us in the comments.
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