IIl-effects of the over-use of hand sanitizers

Wednesday May 12, 2021 at 5:15 pm

Since one year, hand sanitizers have become an essential part of our daily life. People used it extensively for atleast 8-18 times per day. Doctors advised to keep the hands clean with soap by rubbing it for 20 seconds. But, it was practically not possible, so the people choose to use alcohol-based sanitisers and disinfectants.

Ethyl or isopropyl is the main ingredient in hand sanitizer which are formulated with thickeners, softeners and fragrances to minimize the strong smell of the alcohol. Over-use of these can result in skin irritation or might cause skin dryness. The effect can be all the more bad for sensitive skin as alcohol cause skin dryness.

According to several research, ‘increased exposure to irritants and allergens increases the risk of hand dermatitis or eczema’. This is visible on skin with redness, dryness, cracks and blisters that result in itching or pain.

A hand sanitizer that is heavily loaded with fragrance contains toxic chemicals in the form of phthalates and parabens. These two toxic chemicals malfunctions the hormones and causes harm in fertility, birth and reproductive development.

Peterson Pierre, dermatologist and M.D. of the Pierre Skin Care Institute stated, “Its important to not overdo the application of sanitizer and to moisturize after every use.”

The excessive use of alcohol-based sanitizer while protecting against germs and infection-causing pathogens adversely increase the risk of infection through various skin diseases. Over-use can remove the good bacteria, which is bad.

Few non –alcoholic hand sanitisers consist of antibiotic triclosan or triclocarban. Exposure to triclosan increases the risk of antibiotic resistance against the bacteria. As per the FDA, triclosan in hand sanitizers results in hormonal malfunction. This helps the bacteria to adapt itself to its antimicrobial properties and develop more antibiotic-resistant strains. Triclosan is really dangerous to health as its extensive use affects fertility, fetal development and asthma rates.

Dr. Norris while conversing with Eat This, Not That! Exclaimed, “Since hand sanitizers are easily available, doctors globally have witnessed many cases where teenagers were hospitalized with alcohol poisoning from consuming hand sanitizer.”

Low concentration of Ethyl inhalation causes irritation in the skin, nose, eye, throat and lung. The higher concentration damages the fetus. Prolonged or regular exposure can result in dryness or crack in the skin along with peeling, redness and itching. Consumption of alcohol-based sanitizer causes intoxication and coma. Ethanol-based products result in low-diabetes, thus causing seizures in kids.

So, to minimize the use of hand sanitizer, washing hands with soap is always preferable. Dr. Jack Kessler, a prominent Iodine Scientist from the USA, has successfully used Molecular Iodine, a proven broad-spectrum antimicrobial. This when mixed with Glycerine ensures soft and safe hands.

Proper use of mask and maintaining social distance from people and toxins is the need of the hour.