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Wednesday December 7th 2016
Technopark Living

Are anti-bacterial hand washes really necessary?

handwashAre you someone who buys anti-bacterial hand washes to protect your family from germs? Most likely, you are overdoing it then. To understand it, you need to understand how bacteria is removed from your hands.

In case of ordinary soap and water, the bacteria and other germs are not actually killed – they are just washed off your hands. Ordinary running water would wash most of them off, the soap will “pull” them out of your skin better (just like it removes dirt). If you wash with running water and soap for about 20 seconds, most of the germs will be removed from your skin. The problem is most people don’t wash that long. But even if some remain on your skin (there always will be some!), your body is naturally endowed with protection against these germs, unless your body defenses are particularly weak.

Your anti-bacterial soap may fasten this removal, usually by introducing bacteria-killing or bacteria-inhibiting  chemicals. In both cases, it is just an expensive affair for something which can be done by simple soap-and-water. There is no proof that using the anti-bacterial soap may cause any harm,  but remember, in labs which actually test live germs, they wash with this simple soap-water method, albeit longer.

If, however, there is someone ill in your home, or you are returning from a particularly germ-prone place, like a hospital, it would be a good idea to wash with anti-bacterial solutions. But for everyday use, this is just not needed!

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