原创 Fourfrequentlyaskedquestionsabouthandwashing
2020年03月30日 【健康号】 WeDoctor

Is it better to wash my hands with soap or liquid soap?

In this epidemic, it is important to wash your hands well. But not all hand sanitizers can kill the novel coronavirus.


These four types of hands-free hand sanitizer will not kill the novel coronavirus  

Experts point out the inactivation conditions of the coronavirus: the novel coronavirus is sensitive to ultraviolet rays and heat, and 56 for 30 minutes, ether, 75% ethanol, chlorine-containing disinfectants, peracetic acid and chloroform can effectively inactivate the virus.

With these conditions, we can basically screen out a batch of "useless" hand sanitizers on the Internet, such as the following four:

1.Alcohol content below 60% 

Although some disposable hand sanitizers are said to be "alcoholic", if you look carefully at the packaging, the concentration above may be less than 60% at all. Such disposable hand sanitizers do not play a good role in disinfection, and of course it is impossible to inactivate the novel coronavirus.

Of course, it's not that the higher the alcohol concentration, the better. Excessive alcohol concentration can cause the bacteria surface to solidify quickly, which will form a protective film on the surface of the bacteria and prevent it from entering the bacteria. And as such it protects the bacteria from death. According to the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), 60% to 80% alcohol concentration can be selected.

2.Chlorhexidine as the main ingredient

About chlorhexidine (also known as chlorhexidine, chemical name is dichlorophenanthridine hexane), although it is also a bactericidal disinfectant, in this epidemic, it has been officially stated that it is not effective for novel coronavirus and Chlorhexidine-containing hand sanitizer should be avoided. Therefore, it is not recommended to buy.

3.Benzalkonium chloride as the main ingredient

Although benzalkonium chloride also has the word "chlorine" in its name, it is not a chlorine-containing disinfectant. Although it can kill the virus, there is no evidence that benzalkonium chloride is effective against the novel coronavirus, and it is not included in the official recommended disinfection ingredients. True chlorine-containing disinfectants are 84 disinfectants, bleach, chlorine disinfectants, or chlorine effervescent tablets.

4.Plant extracts as the main ingredient

There is another type of disposable hand sanitizer on the market labeled "Plant Extract", which is non-toxic and non-irritating, with a sterilization rate of more than 99%. But again, these so-called "plants" are still not included in the official recommendations for disinfection and are therefore ineffective.

In general, if you need to buy hand sanitizer during the epidemic, the purpose is to kill the novel coronavirus, it is more recommended to buy alcohol-containing with concentration between 60 ~ 80%. Some hand sanitizers may contain ingredients such as n-propanol, isopropanol, peroxide, chlorhexidine / chlorhexidine, etc. on the basis of alcohol. It can also be used as long as the alcohol concentration is right.


Four frequently asked questions about hand washing  

Washing your hands seems simple, but the knowledge is great. In addition to choosing the right hand sanitizer, many people have other questions about hand washing, which are also mentioned here.

1.Can disposable hand sanitizers replace regular hand washing?

Disposable hand sanitizer can disinfect, but cannot decontaminate. When there is organic dirt on the hands or it is particularly dirty, the effect of alcohol is not as strong as washing with water. As long as you wash your hands in accordance with the correct process with running water and soap / hand sanitizer, most bacteria and viruses will be detached from the skin surface with the soap and washed away with the running water.

Therefore, the disposable hand sanitizer is okay for an emergency, but it is still recommended to wash your hands when conditional. If there are stains on your hands and it is not convenient to wash hands, wipe them off with a wet towel before using the disposable hand sanitizer.

2.Can Alcohol-based hand wash be used for children?

It can be used, but it is not recommended for children under 2 years of age, because their skin is more delicate and they may have the habit of licking their hands. Therefore, hand sanitizers containing perfume, color, and alcohol are not recommended.

It is recommended that families with babies can choose some milder hand sanitizers, such as those with APG or amino acids as surfactants. The packaging will usually be marked with " glucoside" or " amino acid".

3.Is it better to wash my hands with soap or liquid soap?

In general, soaps have a stronger detergency and therefore make it easier to dry your hands. During the epidemic, due to the increased number of hand washings and the possibility of cross-infection with soap in public spaces, it is more appropriate to choose hand sanitizers. If you do not have automatic sensor faucet, you can carry your own liquid soap in a small bottle for yourself use.

4.Is it necessary to buy alcohol-based liquid soap?

You can buy liquid soap with 60 ~ 80% alcohol, but it is not necessary. Because the liquid soap removes bacteria and viruses by friction and washing away with running water, it is not necessary to tangle the ingredients of liquid soap too much.

In the end, We would like to remind everyone that even the epidemic situation is easing, wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, ventilating frequently, and less gathering together is still an important prevention method, so please keep it up.


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