Keeping up with hand hygiene is critical to preventing the spread of microbes and decreasing the risk of disease. Our hands come into contact with different surfaces and items throughout the day. These surfaces can be infected by microbes and microscopic organisms. Knowing how to maintain hand hygiene can go a long way in eliminating these microbes and reducing the risk of infection.
The importance of handwashing has been stressed for years, but the unprecedented spread of COVID-19 became a key reminder of why it is essential. Health Shots contacted Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Internal Medicine Consultant, Paras Healthcare, Gurugram, for tips on maintaining hand hygiene.
Follow these tips to maintain hand hygiene
Just as we take care of the needs of our face, body and hair, we must also take care of our hands. These are some of the tips to keep in mind to keep your hands clean and hygienic.
1. Wash your hands
This sounds very cliché, but this is the truth. “Washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds is non-negotiable, especially when you’ve been somewhere outdoors or after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose,” shares the expert. Just be a little vigilant so you don’t waste excess water. Also remember that excessive hand washing can impact your skin.
2. Use a hand sanitizer
The coronavirus increased the sale of hand sanitizers by leaps and bounds. It is a useful tool to keep your hands clean anytime, anywhere. Always keep an alcohol-based sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol on hand, as it will help when soap and water are not available.
3. Avoid constantly touching your face with dirty hands
Keeping your hands well washed and clean before doing any activity, such as eating or applying skin care, is also very important. “Try not to touch your eyes, nose and mouth with dirty hands, as these are entry points for germs,” says the expert. Dirty hands are a breeding ground for different germs and bacteria. You should refrain from touching the main entry points for germs with those hands.
Also read: 5 steps to wash your hands well and stop the spread of diseases
3. Keep your nails trimmed
Long nails can harbor germs and bacteria that can make you sick, so be sure to keep them trimmed and clean. You can also scrub the bottom of your nails with soap and water each time you wash your hands. Also, please keep your nail care tools clean before any use.
4. Cover your coughs and sneezes the right way
Dr. Gupta says, “Use a tissue or your elbow to cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze to avoid spreading germs to other people.” As responsible and educated citizens, we must ensure that we do not transmit our infection to others. If you end up coughing or sneezing into the palm of your hand, wash your hands before doing anything else.
5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects
Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces, such as doorknobs, light switches, and keyboards. This will help you maintain better hand hygiene.
The last word
We must always remember that good hand hygiene is essential to staying healthy and preventing the spread of disease. Also, although the severity of Covid-19 has been reduced, we must still practice social distancing to the extent possible. Staying at least 6 feet away from others to avoid close contact will help reduce the spread of germs!