Hand Washing – Best Practice for Cold Prevention

Hand wash

As they say – prevention is always better than cure. One of the most fundamental practices we can follow in order to prevent getting sick or spreading germs in your family.

Hand Washing: Why It’s So Important?

hand-washing

Our hands are common vehicles for disease-causing germs. Since most activities primarily occur through hand contact to face, eyes, nose and mouth, dirty hands are well capable of transmitting contagious diseases. They are the hotbeds for germs like influenza, making people with poor hand-hygiene most prone to contracting the flu. Therefore, hand-washing is the best defence against the cold and flu symptoms. In fact, hand-washing reduces your chances of catching a cold by 45%.

With proper hand hygiene, people with weak immune systems, can reduce respiratory system ailments by 16-21% and gastrointestinal illnesses by 29-57%.

It is especially important to wash your hands before eating or cooking, after using the bathroom, after touching the animals/pets and after blowing one’s nose, coughing or sneezing.

6-Step Hand Hygiene Regimen endorsed by WHO

Most of the time, hand hygiene isn’t properly implemented. For example, studies show that handwashing rates post-toilet usage are only 19%, globally. A comprehensive hand hygiene program endorsed by WHO that is most effective at killing bacteria includes: 

  1. Wet your hands with water
  2. Apply soap to cover all hand surfaces. Surfactants in soap lift dirt and microbes from the hands.
  3. Rub hands palm to palm: Lather generously and be sure to cover the back of your hands and under your fingernails.
  4. Scrub well: Right palm over the left and vica versa,then palm to palm with the fingers interlaced, then back of finger and thumb for at-least 20 seconds, ensuring optimal removal of germs.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with running water, removing dirt and microbes from your hand
  6. Dry your hands post wash. Wetter hands are more susceptible to re-contamination.

After hand washing , use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, kill germs and microbes, rather than removing them. They are useful in situations with limited access to water or soap. For visibly dirty hands, it is always better to hand wash first. Restorative skin care is often neglected as an element of hand hygiene. Sanitizers and soaps, while offering effective germ-protection, also affect your skin. Therefore, at the end of the day, we should condition, moisturize and nourish the skin, preventing damage or dryness.

While the power of hand washing is phenomenal, other ways to prevent the flu season get the better of you is by boosting your immune shield with Alchemlife’s Phytorelief-CC , a natural solution containing ‘phyto-actives’  like ginger, turmeric and pomegranate. This sugar-free lozenge once a day serves as a preventive solution by building your immunity and  3-4 lozenges a day offers natural relief from cold, cough and flu symptoms.

“The article is based on the information available in public and which the author believes to be true. The author is not disseminating any information, which the author believes or knows, is confidential or in conflict with the privacy of any person. The views expressed or information supplied through this article is mere opinion and observation of the author. The author does not intend to defame, insult or, cause loss or damage to anyone, in any manner, through this article.”

 Image Credit: Flickr by MIKI Yoshihito is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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