Keeping up with hand hygiene is pivotal to prevent the spread of microbes and diminishing the gamble of diseases. Our hands come into contact with different surfaces and articles over the course of 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 washing our hands has been underlined for years, but the unprecedented spread of Covid-19 became a key reminder of why it is indispensable. Health Shots contacted Dr Sanjay Gupta, Senior Consultant- Internal Medicine, Paras Healthcare, Gurugram, to understand some tips to maintain hand hygiene.
Just like we cater to the needs of our face, body and hair, we also need to take care of our hands. Here are some of the tips that must be kept in mind to keep hands clean and hygienic.
This sounds very cliched, but this is the truth. “Washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds is non-negotiable, especially when you have been to somewhere outdoors or after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose,” shares the expert. Just be a little vigilant about not wasting any excess water. Also remember that excessive washing of hands can impact your skin.
Coronavirus increased the sale of hand sanitisers by leaps and bounds. It is a handy tool to be able to keep hands clean anytime and anywhere. Always keep an alcohol-based sanitiser that contains at least 60 percent alcohol handy as it will help you when soap and water are not readily available.
Keeping your hands properly washed and clean before performing any activity like eating or applying skincare, 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. Unclean hands are a breeding ground for different germs and bacteria. You must refrain from touching the major entry points for germs with such hands.
Also read: 5 steps to wash hands properly to stop the spread of diseases
Long nails can harbour germs and bacteria that can make you fall sick, so make sure to keep these trimmed and clean. You may also scrub the underside of your nails using soap and water every time you go to wash your hands. Also, keep your nail grooming tools clean before any use.
Dr Gupta says, “Use a tissue or the crook of your elbow to cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing to avoid spreading germs to others.” As responsible and educated citizens, we should make sure that we don’t pass on our infection to others. If you end up coughing or sneezing into your palm, wash your hands before doing anything else.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches and keyboards regularly. This will help you maintain better hand hygiene.
We should always remember that good hand hygiene is essential to staying healthy and preventing the spread of illnesses. Besides, even though the gravity of Covid-19 has reduced, we should still practice social distancing as far as possible. Staying at least 6 feet away from others to avoid close contact, will help reduce the spread of germs!
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