Hand Sanitizer Facts: What Are Its Ingredients & Adverse Effects?

Sanitization is an effective way of dealing with infectious agents that harm our body. There are various ways accepted by the medical fraternity and common people at large to sterilize and prevent the spread of disease causing pathogens. Hand washing, using hand sanitizers and wearing gloves are some of the means of sanitizing.

Recently, hand sanitizers have gained lot of attention due to the spread of swine flu across the globe. Hand sanitizer is generally used before you eat, or even when you visit a patient in the hospital ward. It is handy and you can carry the bottle of hand sanitizer in your pocket or purse.

Most of the hand sanitizers contain alcohol, which is quiet effective in killing the germs on the surface of your skin. However, many health consultants believe that nothing is as effective as washing your hands with water and soap. Hand sanitizer is second preference. Let us know some of the facts of hand sanitizers, the ingredients used in them and its dangers.

Facts About Hand Sanitizers

Hand sanitizers help to kill millions of microbes present on the skin surface of your hand. Here are common hand sanitizer facts:

  • Hand sanitizers are generally available in any supermarkets and medical stores.
    Many companies manufacture hand sanitizers.
  • Most of the hand sanitizers are alcohol based, they help to destroy the disease spreading organisms that gets stuck in your hands from day to day work.
  • Hand sanitizer as mentioned earlier contains water and alcohol as its ingredient. Alcohol in hand sanitizer easily kills the germs on the hand, especially in the webs of the finger, and in the crevices of the nails.
  • Sanitizers also contain moisturizer so that your skin remains moist and does not dry easily.
  • After applying the hand sanitizer, your hands should not be washed off immediately the liquid inside the sanitizers gets evaporated within few seconds.
  • Very small amount is needed to disinfect your hands. One or two pumps are sufficient.

Active Ingredients In Hand Sanitizer

  • Most of the sanitizers contain ethyl alcohol. Most of them contain 60% to 90% of alcohol in concentration.
  • There are non-alcohol based hand sanitizers available in market they are equally effective in destroying the microbes. Benzylkonium chloride has been found to be 99.9% effective in killing the germs.
  • Water is also one of the ingredients in the hand sanitizer.
  • Aloe gel or vitamin E is also used as a foam agent to keep the skin moisturized and supple.
  • Glycerin is also used to soften the hands and maintain the balance of moisture in the hand.
  • Different fragrances and dyes are also used.

Dangers Of Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizers

Even though there are lots of benefits of hand sanitizers, you have to know its dangers too.

  • If a person is allergic to alcohol or any other ingredient present in the hand sanitizers, he will get itching, burning and rash on his hands and sometimes on many other parts of the body.
  • Ingestion of hand sanitizer accidentally can lead to poisoning. Keep the sanitizer in place where children cannot reach.
  • Since alcohol is flammable, keep it away from gas and stove or else there are chances of it catching fire quickly.
  • It can also cause skin dryness and sometimes lead to broken skin.

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