Did you know that one of the fastest and most silent way a number of infectious diseases spread from one person to another is through contaminated hands? These diseases include gastrointestinal infections such as salmonella, which causes food poisoning, and respiratory infections such as influenza.
An average person touches their face with their hands 3-4 times a minute. During cold and flu season, we’re inundated with messages to wash our hands frequently. Every time people touch their mouth or nose, they transfer bacteria and viruses between their face and their hand. Zits and pimples on the face are another common consequence of poor hand hygiene.
Washing your hands properly can help prevent the spread of these germs. It is one of the most important things you can do to help prevent and control the spread of many illnesses. Good hand hygiene will reduce the risk of things like flu, food poisoning and healthcare associated infections being passed from person to person.
When to wash your hands
- After visiting the toilet
- Before handling food
- When visibly dirty
- After coughing or sneezing into your hands
- Before eating
- After using a tissue or handkerchief
- Before and after attending to a sick person
- After smoking
- After handling garbage
- After working in the garden
- After handling animals
How to wash your hands
- It is important to wash your hands properly. Make sure that you wash both your hands including the tips of your fingers, the palms of your hands and thumbs.
- Washing hands with soap and lukewarm water for at least 20 seconds will remove substantially more disease-causing organisms than washing hands with water alone.
Washing hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of microbes on them in most situations. But if soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitiser.
Hand washing is only one part of hand hygiene. Looking after your skin is equally important, as your skin is the most effective barrier against infection. After your hands have been dried thoroughly, you can help to look after your hands by doing the following:
- Apply a water-based absorbent hand cream three to four times a day, or more frequently if your hands are constantly in water.
- Use gloves to wash dishes to protect your hands.
- Use gloves when gardening to prevent a build-up of ingrained soil or scratches.
- Consult a doctor if a skin irritation develops or continues.
Keep a tube of QNET’s Biosilver Gel 22 handy in your handbag, purse, car or laptop bag. It’s a handy little tube with a powerful antibacterial formula that not only cleanses and santises, but also helps you take care of your skin in case of minor cuts, burns and scrapes.