It’s winter and germ season is upon us. Washing with soap and water is the best way to avoid illness. However, when soap and water are not readily available, hand sanitizer is a good option. “Hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol is best,” says Kennett D. Asher, DO, CMD, family practice physician at Saint Francis Medical Center. “These kinds of hand sanitizers can prevent most bacterial and viral infections.”
You should always use soap and water when your hands are visibly soiled – such as after you use the bathroom or change a diaper. You should also wash with soap and water before preparing and eating food.
“Make sure to vigorously rub your hands together with enough sanitizer to get them wet, and rub them together until they are dry. Hand sanitizer is not a substitute for thoroughly scrubbing your hands with soap and water,” says Asher. “It is good to keep it on hand for the parts of your day when you are not near a sink.”
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