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Here's Why Hand Washing is Better Than Sanitizer

By Virginia Laird

Although hand sanitizer has become enormously popular over the last few years, research suggests it may not be the best choice when it comes to keeping your hands clean. Health and wellness experts suggest the very best way to keep your hands clean and germ-free is to wash (often) using warm water and soap. However, hand sanitizer seems more convenient for many, causing more and more to reach for this product in lieu of the alternative. A few reasons these professionals suggest sanitizer may not be the best option include:

  • Sanitizer can cause severe dry skin
  • Hand sanitizer kills the good bacteria
  • Sanitizer contains some harmful chemicals

Sanitizer Can Cause Severe Dry Skin

There is much research indicating that some of the chemicals in hand sanitizer can cause severe dryness of the skin. This can lead to cracking and pain. For those who are determined to continue using sanitizer, it may be wise to chase it with a moisturizing lotion to help prevent cracking of the skin.

Hand Sanitizer Kills Good Bacteria

While using hand sanitizer may kill the bad bacteria on the hand, it can also eliminate the good bacteria. Health and wellness experts suggest that everyone’s body carries good bacteria. These are the germs that help build immunity, among other things. These same professionals suggest that using soap does not rid the hands of good bacteria, making washing hands a better choice than sanitizer.

Sanitizer Contains Some Harmful Chemicals

For those who prefer a holistic and organic lifestyle, hand sanitizer is far from worthy. It is comprised of a plethora of chemicals. Many of these may be harmful to the overall health of those who use it.

While there is evidence that suggests hand sanitizer can be detrimental to overall health and wellness if used too much, health and wellness professionals admit there is merit in using the product sparingly. Having it handy when a sink is far from convenient can help keep you healthy. An example of this would be the grocery store. While it is necessary to shop for food, much of what you handle has been touched by others who may not have good hygiene, or may be carrying a host of germs. This is a great time to rely on hand sanitizer.

Toss a small bottle of hand sanitizer in your bag for emergencies, but plan to use soap and water when available to keep you and your family healthy and germ-free.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Holly Springs, N.C.

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