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Does washing hands with soap and water prevent contagion?

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Does washing hands with soap and water prevent contagion?

According to the World Health Organization, 25% of respiratory infections can be prevented simply by efficient hand washing. During the day, several times and, above all, before eating and after using the bathroom. Do it thoroughly, rubbing the palms and backs of the hands and the spaces between the fingers, dedicating between 40 and 60 seconds.

If you are unable to do so, opt for a hand antiseptic formulated with at least 60% alcohol. Hydroalcoholic solutions are a quick option, but they do not mean they are better than soap. The practice is effective if the hands are visibly clean. That is, if they are moderately to intensely soiled, alcohol largely loses its disinfectant power, as the dirt interferes with its mechanism of action.

Tricks to maintain hygiene and prevent contagion

It is often the mistake of putting your hand on your nose or mouth when you sneeze or cough. Thus, all germs pass to the palm of the hand that will touch several surfaces next – it is estimated that influenza viruses can survive for 24 to 48 hours on non-porous surfaces, such as stainless steel and plastic. The alternatives are to use the forearm or do it in a tissue, discarding it in the trash immediately.

Public transport bars, elevator buttons, door handles, computer keyboard, steering wheel and mobile phone are just a few elements of everyday life that contain a large number of microorganisms. When possible, disinfect them frequently although it is not necessary to become obsessive about cleaning. The same applies to hands, especially if you wash them with hot water, as the soaps remove the barrier that protects the skin, causing dehydration, dermatitis, redness and even small cracks. To keep your hands clean without problems, opt for soaps with moisturizing formulas and apply cream whenever possible.

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