Lifestyle Health & Fitness Experts: Excessive use of hand sanitisers can weaken body's natural defense against...

Experts: Excessive use of hand sanitisers can weaken body’s natural defense against pathogens

The hands contain harmless bacteria which are actually responsible for fighting off certain pathogens, which is why the excessive disinfecting of the hands can weaken the natural barrier against diseases

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

Experts have warned that sanitising hands too frequently can actually raise the risk of infection as doing so breaks down the skin’s natural protective barrier.

The Covid-19 outbreak has brought about a heightened sense of urgency with regard to combating the spread of pathogens. This, in turn, has lead to the hoarding of disinfecting products such as alcohol, anti-bacterial wipes, and hand sanitisers. However, in the wake of the significant increase of the use of these products, health experts are now warning that disinfecting the hands with sanitiser too often can make one more likely to be at-risk of infection due to skin problems.

According to a recent article by the Japan Timesthe hands contain harmless bacteria which are actually responsible for fighting off certain pathogens, which is why the excessive disinfecting of the hands can weaken the natural barrier against diseases.

Aside from this, products such as alcohol and hand-sanitisers can cause the hands to become rough, as the disinfectants break down the skin’s natural oil and water barriers. Furthermore, the chemicals within these products can potentially cause skin irritations. Because interfering too much with the skin’s natural barrier can increase its vulnerability, a representative from Kao Corp., a chemical and cosmetics company, has said that it is better to wash hands with soap and water.

- Advertisement -

“Dry and damaged skin could become a hotbed of disease bacteria and also increase the risk of viruses entering the body through cuts in the skin,” she said. “To prevent infection, it is much more important to wash hands with a moderate amount of soap for more than 30 seconds in an effective manner than to wash hands several times a day.”

The spokeswoman also stressed the importance of drying hands with a clean towel or a paper towel as it is easier for bacteria to fasten onto wet hands. She also urged people to use a moisturiser in order to fortify the protective natural barrier of the skin.

However, according to a report by Metro.co.uk, Young LDN aesthetician Sara Waterman pointed out that though there are downsides to using hand sanitisers, given the solemnity of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is still safer to use them than to risk getting infected with the novel coronavirus.

Ms Waterman suggested the use of hand cream as a means to thwart the negative side-effects of the frequent use of sanitiser, as such a nourishing product could aid in the maintenance of the skin’s natural moisture.

 Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Cap of 5 people for social gatherings and household visits; Lawrence Wong warns of possibility of another circuit breaker

Singapore -- Octets out, quintets in. Social gatherings will be limited to five people, no more groups of eight. New restrictions are coming into place from May 8 to May 30 to curb the Covid-19 spike in Singapore. The new restrictions will take...

MOH asks hospitals to delay non-urgent surgeries to conserve resources for Covid patients

Singapore— With Covid-19 cases rising, the Ministry of Health (MOH) asked hospitals on Monday (May 3) to delay non-urgent surgeries and give priority to the treatment of Covid patients. In a statement, MOH said it is "working closely with all public and...

5 KTPH staff disciplined for ‘error’ that led to unnecessary treatment of breast cancer patients 

Singapore—Five staff members of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) have been disciplined for a laboratory incident that led to inaccurate test results and unnecessary treatment for some breast cancer patients. The staff members were disciplined for "not adequately performing their duties and...
Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

Theindependent