Should we be Sanitizing?
The question “Should we be sanitizing” has had many debates and still continuing today. At Smart Sanitizer we feel the necessity to sanitize to keep everyone a little safer and to help stop the transmission of germs. We want to hear from you!
Sanitizing works exceedingly well for most bacteria and viruses. It reduces the skin burden of bacteria much more effectively than soap and water and the amount of bacteria on the skin tends to remain lower for much longer than when soap and water is used. It also tends to be less damaging to skin because it has built-in emollients. People who are in occupations where there is a lot of hand washing have skin that tends to dry out easily and it can crack and become more prone to carrying bacteria. Hand sanitizer doesn’t replace soap and water if your hands are dirty, but along with regular hand washing, it definitely helps fight many important germs.
Some people say that using hand sanitizer is bad because it prevents us from building up natural resistance to bugs.
Show us the evidence.
Physicians used to tell their patients if they didn’t want their kids to be allergic to cats, then don’t have a cat. Physicians have told their patients this for the last 50 years. Now there’s growing evidence that if you have the cat, you might actually have some protection against allergies. What you’re saying is a similar idea. But the reality is we just don’t have that information. There’s no evidence to support it one way or another.
So for things like H1N1 you recommend people use hand sanitizer.
This is the absolute best front-line protection for those kinds of diseases. These products appear to be a highly effective part of flu control programs.
What about health care workers? How much does our health depend on them using these products?
In occupations where there’s a lot of human contact there’s the potential for the practitioner to act as an intermediary, transferring germs from one patient to the next. Anything that’s effective and increases the compliance of the practitioner in going through the motions of infection control and prevention is helpful.
There have always been difficulties with compliance, getting health care workers to wash hands on a sufficiently frequent basis, between patients and between tasks. Compliance was always difficult because handwashing is often inconvenient and takes time. The introduction of hand sanitizers improved hand hygiene tremendously, not only because it was so effective, but it was also easier and faster than regular handwashing. It’s really helped in terms of reducing germ transmission. It’s often cited as an example of an improved infection control measure that is a runaway success on all fronts.