How to wash your hands properly to maintain your hygiene. Washing your hands in the right way remains one of the most suitable, effective. And economical daily hygiene interventions to prevent the transmission of infections. Hands are the main vehicle for the diffusion of germs in the environments. We frequent daily so that proper hand hygiene is an important measure to be taken to limit the spread of potentially harmful germs. And to prevent infections and health treatments associated with them.
A small percentage of germs on our hands is represented by non-pathogenic microorganisms. Which normally reside on the skin without causing damage. To these, however, can be added pathogenic germs (for example viruses and bacteria) present on the surfaces of objects with which we come into contact, (toys, telephones, handles, tables, computer keyboards, towels, etc.). Under ideal conditions, the pathogenic germs that lurk on the surfaces. Proliferate and can be transmitted to the nose. Mouth or eyes through contact with the hands, causing many diseases, from the most frequent. And less serious, such as influenza and cold, to the most severe.
‘ hand hygiene is a key element in preventing infections. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, it represents the “most important means of spreading infection”, the most important measure to prevent the spread of infections.
On 5 May each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) promotes the World Handwashing Day to commemorate the importance of this simple but essential gesture for the prevention of communicable infections, especially in hospital and care settings.
Hands are a vehicle for transmission of potential infections. Having clean hands is the first step to reduce the risk of viral and bacterial infections: many studies have found that 15-30% of the infections that occur can be prevented by careful hand hygiene. The practice of hand hygiene has the aim of rapidly eliminating the germs present therein, thus reducing the risk of transmission of infections. For effective handwashing, it is necessary to respect the correct technique taking care to remove rings, bracelets because they involve an increase in the number of micro-organisms present on the hands.
Hands should be washed not only whenever they are visibly dirty; to reduce the risk of viral and/or bacterial infections it is important to get used to washing your hands frequently, especially if you spend time outside the home, in public places that are often unhygienic.
Some situations require special attention, so it is good practice to wash your hands before preparing to eat; to eat; before and after being close to someone who is sick; before and after having medicated a wound; after using the bathroom; after changing the diaper to a child; sneezing or blowing your nose; before applying or removing contact lenses; after touching an animal; having touched raw food; after handling garbage or handling money; using a means of transport (bus, taxi, car etc.).Or having stayed in very crowded places, such as gyms, waiting rooms of railways, airports, cinemas and so on.
Washing your hands has the purpose of removing the pathogenic germs present on the skin through mechanical action. Do not just open the tap and run your hands under the water to eliminate the problem. Here are some rules for proper handwashing:
– Wet your hands under running water preferably warm and apply the soap, better if the liquid that is not placed in the air does not allow the germs to proliferate;
– Apply the soap on both the palms of the hands, soap well rubbing the hands for at least 20-40 seconds remembering to clean all surfaces, such as the palm, back and in particular the space between the fingers and under the nails;
– Rinse thoroughly with running water and then dry your hands with a clean towel, preferably disposable paper or warm air;
– To clean the tap, use a clean towel, preferably disposable. Do not touch handles with freshly washed hands but use paper or towel.
– Apply, if necessary, moisturizing cream or lotion to prevent irritation, in case of too aggressive detergents or after prolonged washings.
Hand hygiene: what can you do if you do not have water and soap available?
If you are away from home and do not have the opportunity to wash your hands with running water and soap, it may be useful to use so-called hand sanitizers, which are alcohol-based solutions. These products should be used when the hands are dry.
To perform the alcoholic clutches of the hands correctly, pour a few milliliters of solution into the palm, choosing the gel formulation if possible; rub the right palm on the back of the left hand with the intertwined fingers and vice versa; rub each other to the palm with the intertwined fingers; The back of the fingers with the palm of the hand with interlocked fingers; The fingertips of each hand against the palm of the opposite hand; rub until completely dry.
The friction with an alcoholic solution should last a total of 30-40 seconds. Remember that if used frequently, hand sanitizers can cause skin dryness. Soaps with disinfectants or antiseptics make sense especially in some circumstances, such as in the hospital. Washing hands is very important especially for health workers, responsible for the spread of hospital infections.