What is hand sanitizer?
Hand sanitizer, also called hand antiseptic, hand rub, or hand rub, agent applied to the hands for the purpose of removing common pathogens (disease-causing organisms).1,2 Hand sanitizers typically come in foam, gel, or liquid form.1,3 Their use is recommended when soap and water are not available for hand washing or when repeated hand washing compromises the natural skin barrier (e.g., causing scaling or fissures to develop in the skin).
Additionally, Hand sanitizers can be a good quick substitute for cleaning your hands when you don’t have immediate access to water and soap. These gels are used to prevent the spread of germs and diseases as they disinfect and clean your hands. However, did you know that prolonged use of hand sanitizers can actually do some damage to your skin? The side effects of using hand sanitizers too much have been brought to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) concern in 2010. The FDA had to release a warning about the negative effects of using hand sanitizers way too much.
Here are some of the dangers posed by overusing hand sanitizers:
5 Negative Effects of Hand Sanitizers
1. Hand sanitizers can irritate your skin
The alcohol content and other harsh bacteria-killing ingredients can cause skin sensitivity. You may get some itching or a burning sensation on your hands. Hand sanitizers can also dry out your upper skin layers, causing it to peel. It’s recommended that you limit usage to your hands and not to other parts of your body.
2. Your hands become more sensitive to UV light
This means that you may become more susceptible to getting a sunburn on your hands. This side effect is due to the fact that the alcohol in the hand sanitizer dries up your skin, causing it to have thinner layers, allowing the sun’s harmful rays to penetrate deeper into your hands.
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3. Ingredients like Triclosan can cause allergic reactions
some hand sanitizers contain a substance called triclosan instead of alcohol. Triclosan is an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent commonly used as an ingredient for soaps and cleaning agents. It’s also an active ingredient in pesticides. One of the negative effects of triclosan is upon penetrating your skin’s layers, it can cause allergic reactions as it enters the bloodstream.
4. Hand sanitizers do not clean residue material from your hands
Ever had a meal that’s a bit greasy or sweet? It’s recommending that you wash your hands after eating those foods instead of using a hand sanitizer? The fat from popcorn, chicken wings, or french fries, or the sugar from that donut you held can not remove it by using hand sanitizers. What happens when you touch your face with those fingers? The fat or sugar is transforming to your facial skin.
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5. Decreased Effectiveness can lead to more bacteria and germs
The more you use hand sanitizers, the more susceptible your body can be to certain infections. There’s a correlation between your body’s decreased ability to fight outside infections and the stronger resistance of antibodies, and using too-hand sanitizers way too often can be the cause.