Coronavirus hand sanitiser advice – the 9 steps to make sure gels will protect against the virus
from the Sun
WITH health officials urging the public to wash their hands to stop coronavirus, people have rushed out to buy hand sanitiser.
You should clean your hands for 20 to 30 seconds when using an alcohol-based hand gel
If you need to use an alcohol-based hand gel, you need to ensure you use it for 20 to 30 seconds, according to the World Health Organisation.
The agency has issued a nine-step guidance on how to rub your hands to make sure you are cleaning them properly…
1a. Apply a palmful of the product in a cupped hand
1b. Cover all surfaces of your hand
2. Rub hands palm to palm
3. Right palm over left dorsum with interlaced fingers and vice versa
4. Palm to palm with fingers interlaced
5. Backs of fingers to opposing palms with fingers interlocked
6. Rotational rubbing of left thumb clasped in right palm and vice versa
7. Rotational rubbing, backwards and forwards with clasped fingers of right hand in left palm and vice versa
8. Once dry, your hands are safe
9. The whole thing should take 20 to 30 seconds
It comes amid a worldwide shortage of hand sanitisers and with prices of some bottles surging to up to £40 – many are turning to making their own homemade solutions.
One such recipe that’s been circulating online involves using vodka and aloe.
However, experts have warned against making your own DIY hand sanitisers.
That’s because the actual percentage of alcohol might not be enough to kill off viruses, including Covid-19.
It needs to be at least 60 per cent alcohol, but many of the products sold in the UK contain around 40 per cent.
These homemade recipes have even prompted vodka maker Tito to shoot down rumours that its spirits could be used.
The Texas-based vodka manufacturer tweeted: “Per the CDC, hand sanitizer needs to contain at least 60 per cent alcohol.
“Tito’s Handmade Vodka is 40 per cent alcohol, and therefore does not meet the current recommendation of the CDC.”
Similarly, Dr Jenna Macciochi, an immunologist based at Sussex University, explained that homemade sanitisers might not be up to scratch like the shop-bought gel which has more than 60 per cent alcohol.
She added: “It’s not necessary for most people who have access to regular hand washing with soap and water, which is perfectly sufficient.
“Homemade sanitiser will most likely be less effective than ones that you can buy and have a known amount of alcohol in them.”
Not only that but it Dr Macciochi also warns that you may also damage your skin with a homemade solution, if you don’t know the concentrations of the ingredients you’re using.
Other experts have warned that the chemicals in shop-bought hand sanitiser could also alter the skin’s barrier function and trigger allergic reactions.
Emma Coleman, a dermatology practitioner and nurse with 20 years experience in the NHS, told MailOnline: “Hand gel is going to change the surface microflora of the skin in some way, and in some people that could lead to an allergic reaction. It may just lead to outbreaks of eczema as well.”
Dr Anne Wetter, a board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of DNA-based skincare ALLÉL, added: “The alcohols used in hand sanitiser dries out the skin, by reducing the skin of its own natural oils.
“This will in the long run lead to a a compromised skin barrier if the skin is not remoisturised sufficiently.
“The skin will be irritated, easier infected and have a higher risk of developing contact dermatitis.”
People are instead urged to wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds instead.
Public Health England has launched an awareness campaign reminding people to wash their hands when:
- You get to work or arrive home
- After you blow your nose, cough or sneeze
- Before you eat or handle food
Coronavirus is understood to be spreading through droplets from coughs and sneezes.
So touching surfaces where these droplets may have landed means you could easily pick it up.
You should also cough or sneeze into tissues before binning them.
Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “We all have a role to play in stopping this disease and that’s what this expanded campaign is all about – making sure the public knows exactly what they should be doing to keep themselves and others safe.
What to do if you’re worried you’ve got coronavirus
The new coronavirus is continuing to sweep its way across the globe with Britain seeing more cases in people who aren’t linked to outbreaks overseas.
Symptoms of Covid-19 can include:
- a cough
- a high temperature
- difficulty breathing
In most cases, you won’t know whether you have a coronavirus or a different cold-causing virus.
But if a coronavirus infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract, it can cause pneumonia, especially in older people, people with heart disease or people with weakened immune systems.
It is incredibly contagious and is spread through contact with anything the virus is on as well as infected breath, coughs or sneezes.
The best way to prevent catching any form of coronavirus is to practice good hygiene.
If you have cold-like symptoms, you can help protect others by staying home when you are sick and avoiding contact with others.
You should also cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough and sneeze then throw it away and wash your hands.
Cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces which you may have touched is also important.
Meanwhile, leading symptom-checking provider to the NHS Doctorlink has been updated to help identify patients’ risk of having coronavirus.
“Washing hands regularly is the single most important thing that an individual can do.
“Public safety remains our top priority. The government and the NHS are working 24/7 to fight this virus.
“It’s imperative that everyone follows clinical advice by contacting NHS 111, and not going to A&E if you develop symptoms.”
In February alone, it’s estimated that hand sanitiser sales were up 255 per cent, according to research company Kantar.
Other kinds of liquid soaps saw sales increase by seven per cent, and ten per cent more was spent on household cleaners.