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Old 11-05-2009, 05:17 PM   #1
illinoismommy
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Default Hand Sanitizer -- yea or nay?

Does it help prevent spread of sickness?

I thought I had recently read an article that said it doesn't work very well and soap is a lot better. But DH says that he heard on the radio that they tested peoples hands after washing with soap and they had all kinds of bacteria on there.

Someone settle this for me.
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hand Sanitizer -- yea or nay?

Soap is still better, but when you can't get to the sink, hand sanitizer helps.
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hand Sanitizer -- yea or nay?

I use both. I wash, then use sanitizer, then some lotion cuz my skin is *so* dry!
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hand Sanitizer -- yea or nay?

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Originally Posted by cindergretta View Post
I use both. I wash, then use sanitizer, then some lotion cuz my skin is *so* dry!
Quit using the sanitizer, and you might not need the lotion anymore.
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:23 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hand Sanitizer -- yea or nay?

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Originally Posted by cindergretta View Post
I use both. I wash, then use sanitizer, then some lotion cuz my skin is *so* dry!
I sanitize, then wash and then use lotion.
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hand Sanitizer -- yea or nay?

Washing hands, when done correctly (which most people don't do)...the whole lather up, 15-30 seconds of FRICTION...not just barely rubbing the soap on...is more effective than hand sanitizer.

BUT, I think HS has its place...like when you are in a public place, and have to touch doors or use pens, etc. and don't have access to a sink.
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:45 PM   #7
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Default Re: Hand Sanitizer -- yea or nay?

Hand sanitizer kills germs on non-porous surfaces which hands are not, obviously. On hands, it kills some germs but many of the viruses that cause colds and gi illnesses are not affected *at all* by hand sanitizer. It is drying which can cause tiny cracks in the skin, an open doorway for pathogens. Hand sanitizer was initially promoted for health care workers who wash their hands multiples times an hour anyway. If you google "hand sanitizer effectivness" and ignore the commercial sites that are selling it, you'll find lots of mainstream articles stating that it doesn't prevent infection. Anti-bac soaps don't either. Another thing to remember is w/ h/s you have dead pathogens on your skin--they don't get rinsed away. Some pathogens are just as toxic when dead--when they die they spill their cellular contents and can make you sick.

So, obviously I don't think it's worthwhile at all. . I do like wipes to use on shopping carts during flu season--the cart is a non-porous surface and the wiping action will remove much of the crud that's on there.
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Old 11-05-2009, 05:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: Hand Sanitizer -- yea or nay?

Even in light of Lisa's post, I like having it on hand during this season since it is better than nothing, afaik, when we're in public places touching lots of things everyone touches. I use it to wipe stuff down, too, like the cart or a table.
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: Hand Sanitizer -- yea or nay?

If the hand sanitizers main mechanism of action (which all are not) is ethanol, then I disagree with LisaM. Ethanol, by its very nature...and why it is used in aseptic cell culture labs on both porous and non-porous surfaces...lyses cell walls and viral coats(which kills bacteria and viruses) as it evaporates.

That being said...most of the lotion and newer brands of hand sanitizers out are not using ethanol as their main ingredient anymore, so I cannot support that mechanism of action...but what we have on hand for quick moments is ethanol gel...and it absolutely does work to kill germs (porous or non-porous surface).
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Old 11-05-2009, 06:08 PM   #10
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Default Re: Hand Sanitizer -- yea or nay?

I think proper hand washing is the best thing. But hand sanitizer is at least something when I'm out and no where near a sink.
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Old 11-05-2009, 07:23 PM   #11
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Default Re: Hand Sanitizer -- yea or nay?

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Originally Posted by firefighterwife View Post
If the hand sanitizers main mechanism of action (which all are not) is ethanol, then I disagree with LisaM. Ethanol, by its very nature...and why it is used in aseptic cell culture labs on both porous and non-porous surfaces...lyses cell walls and viral coats(which kills bacteria and viruses) as it evaporates.
For -some- cell types and virus, it does that. But not all. Which is how Simon wound up with c. diff. in the hospital. The only prevention for c. diff. transmission is soap and water handwashing. You have to rinse it off. You cannot kill it with hand sanitizer. The nurses at his hospital do not have convenient access to sinks, so they rely on hand sanitizer. The c. diff. bacterium forms a shell that makes it immune, in a way that fungi more commonly do. And attacking it does make it release toxins, which what makes it so incredibly toxic during/after a round of antibiotics.
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:16 AM   #12
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Default Re: Hand Sanitizer -- yea or nay?

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Originally Posted by Rabbit View Post
And attacking it does make it release toxins, which what makes it so incredibly toxic during/after a round of antibiotics.
yes, this is definitely an issue.

however, for those that are saying that hand sanitizer is bad...do you think it is better to just NOT wash for an hour or 2 if there is no sink/soap around...

or do you think that the fact that a hand sanitizer (especially ethanol based) is still better than nothing in those cases?
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Old 11-06-2009, 06:50 AM   #13
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Default Re: Hand Sanitizer -- yea or nay?

I keep it on hand and we use it when we can't wash hands. Like after we've been shopping. The kids (especially our son) tend to rub their faces and pick their noses. I'd rather use sanitizer (alcohol based, not anti-bacterial) than nag them to keep their hands away from their faces the whole way home. I also use it after they grab a railaing or something while we're out.
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:31 AM   #14
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Default Re: Hand Sanitizer -- yea or nay?

Exactly - Ajani.

I would say this:

1) Yes, hand washing CORRECTLY is that gold standard for preventing disease spread. Period.

2) Handwashing is done incorrectly and inconsistently by a large portion of the population.

3) handwashing is not available in all situations.

4) Because of points 2 and 3 - hand sanitizer (especially ethanol-based) is an excellent substitute for those situations. yes, there are a very small percentage of germs that are not completely wiped out by ethanol. yes, there will be a small amount of toxin released from some bacteria when they are lysed by the sanitizer. However, that is still WAY better than those germs entering the body, replicating, and THEN releasing MORE of the toxin when our body's defense systems kill them.
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:35 AM   #15
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Default Re: Hand Sanitizer -- yea or nay?

Our preference is plain old soap, not anti-bacterial, and warm water. When that isn't an option like at the playground before snack time or while we are in the car after someone blows their nose we will use hand sanitizer.
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