Hand sanitizer has become more well-known than ever, primarily due to its effectiveness during the COVID-19 pandemic. Portable hand sanitizer products remove germs from your hands and other surfaces that come into contact, thereby reducing transmission of illnesses like COVID-19.

Hand sanitizer has proved effective in killing germs, but using it can have side effects. Overuse of hand sanitizer can cause dry, cracked skin and redness or discoloration and flaking. It may also cause a problem if it is ingested or falls into your eyes.

We’ll go over everything you must know about using hand sanitizer safely.

Hand sanitizer side effects

The negative effects of hand sanitizer will come down to the formulas you’re applying. Hand sanitizer usually contains the highest quantity of alcohol ( between 60 and 95 percent), designed to kill germs that are on your hands. Even if the alcohol content isn’t too high, hand sanitizers may also contain other antiseptic ingredients that have been known to cause adverse effects.

1. Dries out your skin

Alcohol is a potent antiseptic, meaning that it’s known to kill viruses and bacteria on organic surfaces. But it’s also known to cause a drying effect on your skin.

If you sanitize your hands multiple times throughout the day, it takes moisture from your skin. This can result in skin that’s dry, flaky, and sensitive to the touch. In addition to being uncomfortable, the American Academy of Dermatology Association states that having dry skin may increase your chances of picking up germs.

2. Can trigger an eczema breakout

You may notice that after hand sanitizer dries on your hands, itchy and red or discolored Eczema patches tend to appear. That’s because if you have eczema, the chemicals can actually worsen your symptoms. It doesn’t matter if you use liquid, foam, or a gel-based sanitizer, you may experience increased eczema symptoms after use.

3. Can impact your hormones

Hand sanitizers may contain an ingredient known as triclosan. According to the FDA, Triclosan is designed to kill bacteria and is used in a variety of products that range from toothpaste to body wash. The FDA also states that some studies have shown that high exposure to triclosan can interfere with the hormone cycle and even affect fertility. It is necessary to conduct more research to better understand the impact of triclosan on individuals, but the ingredient has already been restricted from various types of products.

4. May contribute to antibiotic resistance

The FDA states that triclosan is intended to kill bacteria, but excessive use of this chemical in commercial products can contribute to the increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. A 2015 research review of how triclosan contributes to antibiotic resistance found that more research is needed to understand how this chemical is actually impacting human health.

Hand sanitizer risks

There are risks in using hand sanitizer, especially if you apply it in ways that are not outlined in the package instructions. These risks can usually be reduced by sticking to the external use of hand sanitizer and avoiding direct contact with the eyes.

1. Can be harmful if swallowed

Excessive amounts of alcohol and other ingredients make hand sanitizer dangerous for human consumption. One of the Medical Center states that anyone who swallows a large quantity of hand sanitizer can become sick and suffer from symptoms that are similar to alcohol poisoning.

2. Can cause blindness or damage vision if it gets into your eyes

It’s easy enough to apply hand sanitizer and accidentally touch your eye shortly afterward. But the high concentrations of alcohol present in hand sanitizer can result in chemical burns on the outer layer of your eye. The majority of the time, any damage caused by hand sanitizer to your eyes will heal completely, but you may experience the following symptoms as it heals:

  • temporarily blurred vision 
  • pain
  • redness

Can you overuse hand sanitizer?

There’s a reason doctors advise washing your hands with soap and water over using hand sanitizer. It’s because it’s easy to accidentally overdo it with hand sanitizers and result in dry skin and other adverse results.

In fact, if you use hand sanitizers so often that your hands get dried out, it may be easier for you to absorb contaminants from different surfaces.

Furthermore, your skin may begin to break or bleed. Skin that is dried out and cracked can also be more prone to bacterial infections.

Preventing hand sanitizer poisoning

Be sure to read ingredient labels before purchasing hand sanitizer. You should restrict how much you use it according to the product label’s guidelines. For best results:

  • Always supervise children whenever they use hand sanitizer.
  • After using the product, wait until your hands are completely dry before touching your eyes or face.
  • Make sure to keep hand sanitizers in a dry, cool area to avoid alcohol evaporation.
  • Don’t overdo it. One or two pumps from a hand sanitizer dispenser should be enough for your hands.
  • Only use it for external usage. Do not ingest or taste hand sanitizer.

Benefits of hand sanitizer and how to use it safely

If used properly, hand sanitizer does have many advantages, such as:

  • quickly kills most types of bacteria on all surfaces
  • takes less time to be effective than washing your hands
  • is much more practical than water and soap when you do not have access to a sink

How to use hand sanitizer?

For proper use of hand sanitizer, it is best to apply it only when your hands are free from visible dirt. Use one of the best sanitizer in india. Take a dime-sized amount (or smaller) and rub your hands together until the hand sanitizer is completely absorbed. To get the best outcomes (and good skin), put on a moisturizer immediately after the hand sanitizer has dried. This will help prevent some of the less-than-desirable side effects.

Takeaway

Hand sanitizer uses have become more prevalent in recent times as a quick and convenient way to kill bacteria and germs on our hands. They are widely used in many environments, including medical institutions, schools, and even public spaces. While hand sanitizers work as an effective solution in many cases, it is crucial to remember that they may not always be the best option.

 If hand sanitizer is used correctly, the side effects and risks are low. If you overuse the product, it can cause dry hands and cracked skin. Hand sanitizers contain some ingredients like triclosan that may cause health problems if you are exposed to them in large amounts. Be sure to read the ingredient labels before purchasing, and only use hand sanitizer according to the directions on the product label.

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