With the drastically increased reliance on hand sanitizer to help combat the spread of COVID-19, you might be wondering, is excessive use of hand sanitizer bad? That's a fair question, because sanitizer use is much more frequent than in the past.
That is especially true for high-use professions like education and health care. If you're a frontline worker or a teacher, for example, keeping your hands clean is of the utmost importance.
Not only are you trying to protect yourself and your loved ones, you're also trying to protect other people in your care. Whether that's patients or school children, the end result is that you're using a lot of sanitizer. It's important to be aware of any associated risks and to understand how to mitigate those risks as much as possible.
Consequences of Frequently Applying Hand Sanitizer
When you use sanitizer frequently, you can experience several unpleasant side effects.
Most commonly, people find that their hands feel dry after frequent sanitizer use. Using a good hand lotion can help to reduce dryness, but it's not always feasible to keep applying lotion throughout the day.
Dryness is even more of a problem if you also wash your hands frequently. Between the washing and the sanitizer, you might not have much time to let lotion sink in and help repair your dry skin.
You might also find that too much hand sanitizer use leads to cracked hands. This can be a serious concern because cracks and breaks in the skin can let in pathogens which cause infection. While you're trying to avoid COVID-19, you could be opening the door for other issues that you really want to avoid.
That doesn't mean sanitizers are dangerous, but only that it's important to understand all the risks, so you don't end up creating specific problems by trying to reduce others.
A foul, alcohol-based smell could also be part of the problem with excessive use of hand sanitizer. Most of the time sanitizer evaporates and dries out and you really don't notice it anymore. But it can leave behind a smell that can be absorbed by your skin after frequent, long-term use. If you find that your hands are starting to smell like alcohol, or they've picked up any other kind of scent that's just not expected or typical for you, it could be the amount of hand sanitizer you're using on a daily basis.
Hand pain, especially when you're using your hands for fine motions, could also be a problem for people who use hand sanitizer a lot. That's problematic for people like medical professionals since they may need to use small instruments and a lot of fine motor skills in order to do their jobs the right way.
So, is excessive use of hand sanitizer bad?
Not necessarily, but it can and does lead to problems that it would be better avoided.
Why Hand Sanitizer Dries Hands
Ethanol, which is the main ingredient in the majority of hand sanitizers on the market today, is great at killing germs. However, it also dehydrates skin after direct contact. Applying it once isn't going to take all the moisture out of your skin, but if you use it regularly you could start to see effects from it.
Frequent and repeated use will dramatically dry out your skin and make it more difficult for you to keep your hands moisturized, healthy, and in good shape.
The key to keeping your skin moisturized while still using sanitizer frequently is to choose a sanitizer that doesn't dry out your skin. Ethanol is going to dry your skin, but when it's combined with the right ingredients, it’s drying effect is greatly reduced. That means you can use hand sanitizer as much as you need to, and still have hands that aren't dry and cracked.
Where can you find that kind of sanitizer? Varigard is a new kind of hand sanitizer that uses a unique combination of ingredients to keep your hands from drying out.
How Varigard Keeps Hands Moisturized
Like other hand sanitizers available on the market, Varigard uses ethanol to kill pathogens. That's because ethanol is effective, one of the most important aspects of any sanitizer. But Varigard also uses other ingredients in its mix to ensure that the ethanol remains effective at killing pathogens — but won’t dry out your hands.
Instead of the drying effects produced by most sanitizers, Varigard's formula creates a protective layer against your skin to keep the ethanol from being absorbed. That layer of protection prevents drying, but still captures any non-native pathogens -- including COVID-19.
Then, the ethanol kills the pathogens while the top layer of ingredients keeps your skin protected against both new pathogens and dehydration.
So is excessive use of hand sanitizer bad? Not at all, when it's the right type of sanitizer from a company that's focused on both reducing pathogens and protecting your hands.
By choosing Varigard, you can have peace of mind, protection from pathogens like COVID-19 and hands that aren't dried out even if you need to use sanitizer frequently throughout your day.
Frontline workers, education professionals, and anyone who needs to use sanitizer more than most people can still take good care of their hands while they get the protection they need to keep themselves and others as safe as possible.