Keeping our hands clean is a sure way to preventing infections. However, warm water alone will not eliminate germs, bacteria and viruses. The microorganisms adhere to the oily film of the skin's protective barrier and require more than just water to effectively get rid of.
1. Use Soap
The use of soap is vital in the fight against bacteria and viruses that stick to the oily film found on the surface of the skin. Most soaps, apart from the antibacterial kind, do not kill germs, but are effective at removing them.
2. The 30-second Rule
Time is of the essence when it comes to thorough cleansing. It is thus important to cleanse the back of the hands, spaces between the fingers, the fingers, fingertips and wrists for at least 30 seconds. This should be done several times a day. Liquid soaps are often the more hygienic option as opposed to a bar of soap.
3. Nourish the Hands
What is often forgotten is the last, but crucial step in hand hygiene: hand cream. Not only is the use of hand cream important to condition dry and dehydrated skin, but it also prevents the formation of micro cracks on the skin. These cracks are usually invisible to the naked eye and can be a breeding ground for germs which can lead to infection. Hand creams ensure that the skin remains supple and strengthen the protective barrier of the skin.