Hand washing, do we really do it right?
Did you know that there exists World Handwashing Day? Well, yes! And on top of that, it is celebrated tomorrow, October 15th!
Although we believe that such World Days are useless, really washing your hands is one of the most important habits that you can adopt in your daily routine. So it is not bad that there is a day to remind us and make us a little more aware, don't you think?
Hand hygiene is so important that from a young age we are taught to wash our hands in certain situations such as before eating or after going to the bathroom, but do we really know when we have to wash our hands?
What are the benefits of washing our hands?
As we have always been told, having clean hands prevents us from catching infections and spreading them to others. What's more, according to a study by the University of Colorado, more than 3,200 bacteria from 150 different species gather in the palm of your hand. A real barbarity! Don't you think? Having discovered this fact I think it is clear why hand washing is essential in the daily life of anyone.
How should you wash your hands?
Although washing your hands seems like a simple act, in reality the way you rinse or soap your hands can cause your hand hygiene to increase or decrease without you noticing.
Start by wetting your hands with water. But beware! Keep in mind that you should avoid hot water, as that can cause your hands to dry out or become much more irritated than usual. Ideally, you should wash your hands with tepid or cold water.
The next step is the soaping of the palms. Easy, isn't it? Let me give you some advice just in case! According to the Spanish Academy of Dermatology and Venereology (AEDV), the best thing for hand washing is soap, either antibacterial soap or normal soap. This is because disinfectant gels really dry out your palms, and the AEDV is not lying to you! These gels are also not more effective than soap...
Next comes the most important step: rubbing your hands. Although it seems like the simplest thing in the world, you may want to know that the rubbing of the hands is not limited to the palms, but you should rub the whole hand (even the wrists) for at least 20 seconds. In this way, the soap will be given time to soak into the skin.
Then rinse your hands. And remember! With cold or tepid water if possible.
Finally, dry your hands. You can do it either with a clean towel or with fresh air. But please, after you've gotten rid of many of the germs that were on your palms, don't dry your hands with some fabric that has even more...
Do you really know how many times a day you should wash your hands?
Although there is no single figure that tells us how many times a day you should wash your hands, you should wash them at least when they are visibly dirty... Even so, there are many more times during the day when it is not bad to maintain proper hand hygiene: when preparing or eating food, when treating wounds, when placing or removing contact lenses, when going to the bathroom or when touching a surface that many other people have touched, for example.
And don't listen to the rumors! How many times have I heard throughout my life that hand washing causes my hands to dry out? Well, no, they don't have to. If you do the whole hand washing process correctly, you don't have to suffer from dry hands from doing it many times a day.
So now you know! Celebrate World Handwashing Day tomorrow by putting into practice the tips you've read in this article, and keep them in your daily routine from now on!