The simple act of washing hands goes a long way in preventing a host of diseases. But do you know how important this act is to you and the people close to you? Well, there is no better way than to understand the various hand washing facts. The facts will give you an idea of the impact that a simple 15-second act can do for your health. Let us look at the facts, shall we?
8 out of 10 infections are transmitted through touch
When someone has flu, they can easily transmit it to hundreds of other people through various acts of touching. The best thing you can do to prevent catching flu is by washing your hands regularly.
While use of soap may not completely eliminate the viruses, the viral count is highly reduced if the hand washing process is done properly. The virus that remains will be less than what is needed for infection.
How many people wash their hands after visiting the toilet?
One of the situations when hand washing is necessary is after visiting the toilet. The toilet has a lot of germs that can cause you disease or be transmitted to other people. A study involving 80,000 people in five major cities in the United States found out that only about 67 percent of people wash their hands after visiting the toilet. Among the cities, Chicago had 83 percent of the population washing their hands while New York, surprisingly, had the least number of people who washed off after a visit to the toilet.
Do you follow recommended hand washing guidelines?
70 percent of the population know about hand washing guidelines and follow them strictly. This percentage will change depending on the environment that someone is in. Overcrowded places such as public places lead to a reduction in the compliance.
How long should you wash your hands?
It is recommended that effective hand washing should be done for 20 seconds or more. However, studies have shown that the number of bacteria on the hands is reduced ten times more if the hands are washed for 30 seconds as compared to 20 seconds. Gels that contain alcohol are better at eliminating bacteria than regular soaps.
Hot or cold water?
There is no proven study to support the fact that using hot water makes hand washing effective. In fact, use of hot water can increase the development of dermatitis. Cold water on the other hand, causes less damage to your skin even when the hand is washed repeatedly.
Which bacteria are found on your hands?
Bacteria occur in two layers on your hands: transient and resident flora. As the name suggests, transient flora is found superficially on your skin and does not reside permanently in it, though it is the most dangerous. The good news is that it can be easily eliminated from the skin by washing your hands. On the other hand, resident flora resides in the deeper layers of the skin and is not easily removed by cleaning.
From these hand washing facts, you have seen why it is a good idea to wash your hands using the best practices. This is beneficial for both you and other people you come in contact with.