Coronavirus: The Risks of Homemade Hand Sanitizers
This is serious. The coronavirus pandemic alert has caused a shortage of hand sanitizers in the markets and stores.
In many countries, the shelves of drugstores and supermarket chains where sanitizers once stood are now empty.
And if these products are found on the internet, they are sold at exorbitant prices.
This has led to a large number of "recipes" starting to circulate on the Internet so that people can produce homemade versions of these products.
I don't want to point out any particular video, but here's a link to YouTube where you can find the number of videos uploaded in the last 24 hours. You can probably estimate the value from there.
The idea might seem reassuring: if you can't find hand sanitizer in the store, make yours at home.
But is it possible to produce an effective disinfecting gel in your home or could it be something potentially dangerous?
The main danger is that we do not do it correctly or that we follow a prescription that has dubious efficacy.
We are trusting the internet and, with the social alarm that there is, many hoaxes, homemade recipes and things are emerging that have no proven efficacy.
Spreading all this can lead to people trusting something that really has no proven efficacy against the virus or that could even be harmful to the skin.
Well, all the so-called hand sanitizers call for alcohol in quite a bit, and now there is also an alcohol shortage. And glycerin is also needed, which is not something we normally have at home.
Due to the shortage of gels and the products needed to produce them, what is emerging now is gels that have a lower concentration of alcohol or formulas that are not effective.
We have also started to see recipes and formulas, for example, of tea tree oil, herbal combinations with strange mixtures, etc., whose effectiveness is much more than doubtful.
Furthermore, the use of these recipes with "dubious combinations" of compounds could also present a skin risk.
Something dermatologists have talked about a lot is that, in fact, in general, the main problem with hydroalcoholic gels or continuous handwashing is that it favors the skin to dry out, crack, and people who have skin a little more Sensitive or atopic skin may be more prone to irritative dermatitis.
"That is why, apart from washing, it is recommended to use enough moisturizing cream so that the skin does not dry out excessively.
What is the ideal Hand Sanitizer?
Health organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of the United States, emphasize that for disinfecting gels to be effective they must contain a concentration of at least 60% alcohol.
So, it makes sense that if we want to use disinfectants, we have to look for gels that are already endorsed by the regulations of the drug agencies.
Here's a link to the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended Handrub Formulations.
It will tell you whether the hand sanitizer you have is effective or not. It gives you some basic chemical compositions for the same.
But these are formulations specifically targeted at healthcare workers and pharmacologists in places where there is access to hand sanitizer products.
You, as a end user, should focus more on keeping yourself safe from Coronavirus.
The Best Way to Protect Yourself?
The best way to protect yourself against the coronavirus is to wash your hands with soap and water frequently, for at least 20 seconds each time.
Use disinfectant gel as an option when you do not have soap and water .
One of the characteristics that the coronavirus has is that it is a virus that has a lipid layer and therefore is relatively sensitive to the usual disinfectants.
So simply washing hands with soap and water is enough.
Here's a link to the WHO Guidelines that gives you the exact way How to Wash your Hands.
CDC Recommendations on How to Wash Your Hands
Always follow these five steps:
Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and lather your hands.
Rub your hands with the soap until it foams. Rub the foam over the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds. Do you need something to measure time? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song twice from start to finish.
Rinse your hands well under clean running water.
Dry them with a clean towel or in the air.
Thank You for reading till the end. :)
Here's some of the recent informative posts I have written on Coronavirus:
- Coronavirus: What is the difference between Pandemic, Epidemic, and Endemic infection?
- Coronavirus Pandemic: We are very close to a global recession
If you are interested to read more such informative topics, you can follow me @nirmal for regular updates. And, please stay safe!
By the way, I also have a blog HiTricks where I post about Technology and SEO. If you are from India, you will surely like it.