4 Hand-washing Myths You Thought Were True!

What if some of the most popular things you knew about hand-washing and hand hygiene was actually a myth? Surprised? Check out these myths that most people believe to be true, including, most probably, even you!

If you have washed your hands repeatedly or use a hand sanitizer after touching anything, stop right away. Did you know that repeatedly washing your hands and using hand cleaning products can actually increase your risk of getting contact dermatitis? It is a type of allergic reaction that takes place when your skin comes in contact with too many foreign substances.

The temperature of the water does not really play a role in keeping your hands clean. In fact, you have a higher risk if you are always using hot or warm water to wash your hands. When you use warm or hot water to clean your hands, the ingredients in certain soaps or hand cleaning agents can actually have an adverse reaction and lead to dermatitis. While bacteria die in heat, it is a much higher temperature than you would use in the hot water for cleaning the hands.

You may think that washing off the germs from your hands will ensure they are clean, but remember that it is equally important to dry them too. Germs and bacteria grow really fast in damp spaces, and if your hands are not properly dried after a wash, half the effort you did is already lost.

There are two types of bacteria, good and bad. And as the name suggests, we do need the good bacteria for our own good. The problem with using anti-bacterial hand wash or soaps is that they will kill all the bacteria, good or bad, which is not an ideal situation.

  • Do wash your hands when they are dirty, or when you have touched a public surface, as well as before and after eating
  • Wash your hands before and after touching a wound or applying or ingesting any medication.
  • You can clean your hands using any form of soap, it does not have to be anti-bacterial or anti-microbial
  • When you wash your hands, rub them for a few seconds, for about 20 to 30 seconds. Do this on the inner as well as outer part of the hand. Wipe them dry after washing.

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