Milder Hand-washes Effective in Killing Viruses As Potent Sanitizers, Study Shows

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In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals resorted to potent sanitizers to kill the virus. However, a University of Sheffield study finds that mild cleansers are equally adept at eliminating viruses, challenging the perception that harsh soaps are superior in virus eradication.

Irritant contact dermatitis on the rise due harsh sanitizers

Healthcare workers are facing a notable rise in irritant contact dermatitis due to the frequent use of harsh soaps and sanitizers. This skin condition marked by redness and swelling, not only hampers compliance with protective measures but also worsens the spread of bacteria and viruses.

The Sheffield Dermatology Research (SDR) group researchers tested various handwash products, revealing that gentle cleansers effectively combat enveloped viruses like human coronavirus and influenza. This discovery is crucial for healthcare professionals, providing an alternative to harsh soaps that may harm the skin. The study broadens options for effective virus control.

Lead study author Dr Munitta Muthana said that there is no need of using strong soaps and sanitizers on the skin to kill viruses because even milder hand wash products can combat irritant contact dermatitis.

The study found that while gentle cleansers effectively combat enveloped viruses, non-enveloped ones like norovirus display heightened resistance to various handwashing products. Norovirus, known as the winter vomiting bug, is particularly resilient except for harsh bleach disinfectants, which are unsuitable for regular skin use.

Are diluted bleach-based hand washes safe for skin care

According to study author Natalie Winder, isolation and disinfecting surfaces with bleach are effective measures in preventing the spread of norovirus infection.

Researchers propose further research to investigate the development of diluted bleach-based hand washes that are safe for skin use. This study, published in the journal Frontiers of Virology, highlights the importance of finding innovative solutions to combat the transmission of norovirus.

Proper handwashing is crucial in preventing the spread of germs and illness with emphasis on the best handwashing practices, including timing, technique, soap selection, and drying methods. It emphasizes the importance of frequent handwashing, especially before and after food preparation, after blowing your nose or using the restroom, after touching animals, and after visiting a sick person.

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