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Hand wash, sanitizers -- what's next: Learn from experts

SFOORTI MISHRA   |  New Delhi

26-March-2020

The common recommendations for containing coronavirus are washing one's hands frequently and using sanitizers. But what could be the impact of these products on your soft hands?

Hand sanitizers often have alcohol, such as ethyl alcohol, as an active ingredient, and work as an antiseptic. Other ingredients include water, fragrance, and glycerin. This ingredient can also be found in soaps.

People have been using hand sanitizers and soaps more frequently than in usual times. However, caring for one's skin is equally important.

Speaking to IANS, Prof Dr Arvind Kumar, Chairman Chest and Robotic Surgery at Gangaram Hospital, said, "It is very important to keep your hands clean, especially now. But if you are using soap frequently, then you should preferably use a soap which has some amount of glycerin in it or else you should keep moisturising your hands at regular intervals to prevent the hands from getting dry because if your hands are absolutely dry, and they develop cracks, then those cracks are dangerous," he said.

"The virus can go through those cracks into your body. So frequent handwashing and sanitation is necessary, but you also must prevent your hand from developing cracks because of dryness."

Echoing similar views, Dr Manju Keshari, Senior Dermatologist at Max Super speciality hospital. "If one washes hands frequently, the skin gets dry and cracks can emerge which may facilitate the entry of the virus into the body. Therefore it is very important to use moisturiser on your hands at regular intervals".

She also suggested that if there was an open acne on ones face, the virus could also enter the body through that. "Therefore, people must cover the face when they go outside in case they need to."

Respiratory viruses, like the novel coronavirus, the flu, and the common cold can be spread through hands.

"If someone is sick, a hand can touch some mucus and viral particles will stick to the hand. If someone is well, hands act like sticky traps for viruses. We can pick up droplets that contain the virus, and they'll stay on our hands, and perhaps enter our bodies if we touch our face with hands. That's why our hands are the frontlines in the war against Covid-19. So, moisturising them regularly is of equal importance," she said.-IANS