While hand sanitizing isn’t a replacement for washing your hands properly, it is helpful when you’re out and about and can’t find a place to wash, especially now. But do you know exactly what it’s doing to your hands.
Well, using hand sanitizer every day can have some side effects you may want to be wary of, so, again, stick to washing mostly. Here are some to look out for:
- Using it every day can disrupt your microbiome– It’s good at killing microbes, but sometimes possibly too good, in that it could be killing those that are beneficial for keeping our bodily functions in order. That’s why it shouldn’t take the place of actually washing hands.
- It can create stronger bacteria– Another argument for not using it every day, using hand sanitizer with antibacterial ingredients could help the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
- You can still get sick using hand sanitizer every day– While it is a good alternative if you are unable to wash your hands, it isn’t perfect, and it doesn’t necessarily protect you against catching something.
- Using hand sanitizer every day will dry out your hands– We are all probably experiencing this now. It’s because the alcohol in sanitizer is what’s drying out your skin.
- Your hands can become irritated– Using sanitizer every day can cause chronic irritation, skin breakdown and other damage.
- It can ruin your manicure– It won’t take off the polish, but it will break it down, making it susceptible to chips.
- You won’t get intoxicated– Sure it has alcohol, and can smell pretty strong, but the amount absorbed in your skin isn’t enough to affect your blood-alcohol content.
- It may impair your muscles– At least one study has shown that the ingredient triclosan, which many sanitizers have, can prevent muscular contraction just 10 to 20 minutes after exposure, reducing grip strength and heart function in mice.