The human hand is the most versatile part of the human body, carrying out several functions from holding, touching, writing, eating, and the list goes on and on.This was verified through a personal survey which reveals that 67% of the population believe that their hands is most versatile. Unfortunately, these activities make the hand much more vulnerable to germs and dirts. Due to this the hand needs a special attention so that it remains clean and germ free.
Sometimes the hands can be visibly soiled with dirts while other times, it may appear clean but contains several colonies of dangerous microorganisms picked up from different surfaces. These microorganisms, like the bacteria, viruses, fungi and so on might not be harmful by themselves but can become hazardous when they get to opened parts of the body like an open wound, cut, the eyes, nose, mouth, ears and even the anus.
We will be highlighting some steps you need to take for effective hand care.
1. Wash with soap and water: You need to wash your hands generously with soap and running water before eating, after eating, after going to the rest room, before dressing a wound or surgical operation, and before preparing your meal. You don’t need to have your hands blackened with dirt before washing. Please, read this again ‘You don’t need to see your hands blackened before washing!’
- Get Under the Nails: It is not enough just to wash your hands anyhow because most microorganisms are found under the nails and finger tips. It is advisable to keep short and clean nails or otherwise, ensure that those beautiful long nails are washed thoroughly.
- The 20secs Rule: Yes, yes, yes! Soap has an hydrophylic head and an hydrophobic tail which enables it to breakdown the lipid bonds in microbes which is then washed away by water in at least 20 seconds, according to Centre of Disease Control. For you to be sure about the timing, you can try singing “Happy Birthday” twice or sing your ABC’s twice.
- Avoid touching the faucet’s tap after washing. Ideally, you should use a toilet paper if available to close the tap or you could use your towel. Why? Initially, you touched the tap with dirty or germ infested hands and you don’t want that back on your hands, right?
- You should air-dry your hands or dry with a clean towel after washing to prevent the spread of leftover bacteria on wet hands.
- Even though effective hand washing is the best way to care for your hands because it is effective and quite affordable, hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol can be used also, especially in places where soap and water is not easily accessible. Keep in mind that the sanitizer cannot get rid of dirts on the surface of your hands.
The hand is the easiest way of transferring microbes into your body and to others because it touches several surfaces and then touches your eyes, mouth, nose and other open skin surfaces.
Since about 80% of communicable diseases are transferred by touch, according to all portable sinks, effective hand washing reduces this transfer impact, a great deal.
We say a healthy living is equivalent to an impeccable lifestyle. We urge you to see effective hand washing as a way of life and not just a precautionary move.
Author: Awe Elizabeth (Team Lead, Higeneplus Integrated Services)