Mysteriously slick subway poles, a sneezing colleague, the flu season’s arrival: all of these are reasons to be grateful for having a bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer within reach. Yet in an era of superbugs — bacteria that become antibiotic resistant — and fears of being too clean, you might wonder if using alcohol-based sanitizer constantly does more harm than good.

Absolutely not, Michelle Barron, a professor who specializes in infectious disease at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, affirmed that assessment. In general, sanitizer ‘s intent is to clean your hands / mask “of bacteria , viruses, and germs. “The rise of superbugs is a function of the antibiotic push and pull.”

There is no convincing evidence that overuse of hand sanitizer could somehow weaken the immune response — which seems to be a misused hygiene theory extrapolation, or the notion that being “too clean” might hamper the immune system of a child. You destroy the creatures you pick up in the surrounding environment.

Compared to soap and water, sanitizers are a convenient alternative when you’re on the go and can also be more effective in general: if you’ve done the same 15-second wash with alcohol hand sanitizer vs. soap and water, “alcohol is just more powerful.

The bottom line: Alcohol sanitizers, natural or not natural, are better or healthier than anything else to clean your hands / mask with, Unless you put the sanitizer on so much that your skin breaks down, right now I don’t see any excuse, or downside, to use it.


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