Mucky pups, beware of October 15th!
Most of the time, we do it unconsciously — rubbing our eyes, scratching our nose or touching our face. But with every touch germs and viruses go from our hands to our faces and from there they can make their way into our body e.g. through oral, nasal or ocular mucosa. There’s only one thing that can prevent that: Wash your hands but do it right!
Washing away washed-up bad habits
But since the virus SARS-CoV-2 and with it the risk to acquire COVID-19 entered our lives beginning this year, handwashing became as important as ever. For example, one possible source of transmission is contaminated surfaces – and since we just simply can’t stop touching our faces, we spread potential germs on it that we “picked up” from the surfaces we touch.
Handwashing must be learned properly
Here’s a few classics amongst the handwashing fake news: It’s enough to shortly place your hands under running water because germs will simply be flushed off. Or: It’s completely enough to quickly rub your palms. Or how about this one: Wash your hands and then rub them on a dirty towel – or just quickly on your worn jeans.
This is the right way to do it according to the WHO:
- Rinse your hands under running water.
- First rub your palms together with soap
- and then between your fingers, and on the back of your hands.
- Afterwards rub your hands with your fingers interlaced,
- then your fingertips and nail beds
- and finally your thumbs.
- To finish it up thoroughly rinse off the soap
- and use a paper towel or dry, clean towel because microbes grow just wonderfully on wet towels.
- And of course, you know better than to dry off your clean hands on dirty pants.
The more, the better?
There’s no universal number on how many times a day you should wash your hands. While there are strict recommendations regarding washing your hands in health care or food processing, it depends on what and where you are doing something when it comes to everyday life. Especially in situations when there is just no possibility to wash your hands with water and soap, hand disinfection can be a valuable alternative to protect your hands from potential pathogens. Otherwise: Wash your hands but do it right. You know how to do it.