Does Hand Sanitizer Actually Prevent the Spread of the Diseases?

Hand sanitizer is a hard commodity to come by nowadays. Grocery stores and drug stores are quickly selling out of their soap and hand sanitizer. This is not because people suddenly have the urge to clean their hands more-- it’s because of the corona virus. What may come as a shock people, is that hand sanitizer is not as effective as one might think.

In short, it depends on who you ask. Companies that sell hand sanitizer would say “Yes! Hand sanitizer definitely helps! Consumer advocates, however, say that hand sanitizers have little to no effect on the spread of diseases. In fact, there is a theory that hand sanitizer can actually trap bacteria and increase a person’s likelihood of getting sick.

However, sanitizer is currently still being used to stall diseases and generally work as a disinfectant. There is no science that claims otherwise.


            What are the Benefits to Hand Sanitizer?

Hand sanitizer is particularly used in hospitals. Medical staff is working with various patients throughout the days, so they need to frequently disinfect their hands. They don’t want to pass a disease from one person to the next. However, outside of the hospital, hand sanitizers are unnecessary.

Respiratory diseases are caught through direct contact with those who already have them. In this circumstance, hand sanitizer can do nothing to prevent the disease. A stronger, more durable solution is to wash your hands really well, and avoid direct contact with people.


            Hand Sanitizer is a Cleaning Tool

Hand sanitizer makes it easier to clean your hands on the go. If you sneeze into your hand or touch a contaminated surface, hand sanitizer can be a quick tool for cleaning your hands. Because hand sanitizer is so convenient, they increase the likeliness that others will actually clean their hands-- this is better than not washing them at all.

There is, however, a right way to use hand sanitizer. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that hand sanitizer is only effective when you use the appropriate amount and rub it all over every surface on the hands. The hand sanitizer should be rubbed into the skin until it is completely dry.


         What Hand Sanitizer Should I Use?

Hand sanitizer with low alcohol content is not effective. The best of the best in the hand sanitizer world are the ones that have an alcohol content of 60 to 95 percent. Non-alcohol based sanitizers do more harm than good, and could actually train bacteria to resist sanitizer.


       Is Hand Sanitizer Bad For You?

There is no way of determining whether hand sanitizer is good for you or not. There are theories that sanitizer helps bacteria develop and thrive, but there is no scientific evidence that backs those ideas. Ultimately, it is safe to use hand sanitizer for now, but remember to also wash your hands thoroughly with soap. We need to be diligent in staying clean.