Coronavirus is here, along with panic which has unfortunately caused major unconventional and rather concerning cleansing practices and methods. Good hygiene throughout our lives are essential, so lets get cracking on some myths and old wives tales regarding basic hygiene.

No. Spraying alcohol, chlorine or cleaning detergents all over your body will NOT kill viruses that have already entered your body. Consuming these products may also result in death. Spraying such substances can be extremely harmful to clothes and mucous membranes (i.e. eyes and mouth). Some substances being thought of as useful are in fact life threatening and can cause harmful chemical burns. In the event of a chemical burn, immediately flush the burn for 20 minutes with saline or cool running water and then apply Burnshield. Seek medical attention.

Alcohol, chlorine and detergents can be useful to disinfect surfaces, but they need to be used under appropriate recommendations by the product manufacturers.

Basic hygiene

Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Wash with soap and water and / or clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you and others sick.

Best and most effective technique

The below technique should take no less than 20 seconds (Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice)

  1. Rinse hands and apply soap. Switch off the tap.
  2. Lather the soap by rubbing your hands throughout the process first palm to palm.
  3. Then back of hands.
  4. Interlace your fingers.
  5. Base of thumbs.
  6. Rub your fingertips on the palm of your hands in order to cleanse under your finger nails.
  7. Lather up and over your wrists.
  8. Rinse your hands.
  9. Dry completely.

Why soap? Using soap to wash hands is more effective than using water alone because the surfactants in soap lift soil and microbes from the skin, and people tend to scrub hands more thoroughly when using soap, which further removes germs.

Why lather and scrub? Lathering and scrubbing hands creates friction, which helps lift dirt, grease, and microbes from skin.  Microbes are present on all surfaces of the hand, often in particularly high concentration under the nails, so the entire hand should be scrubbed.

Why rinse? Rinsing the soap away also minimises skin irritation. Because hands could become recontaminated if rinsed in a basin of standing water that has been contaminated through previous use, clean running water should be used.

Why dry thoroughly? Germs can be transferred more easily to and from wet hands; therefore, hands should be dried after washing. Use a clean towel or air drying hands are best.



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