The Importance of Washing Your Hands

Did you know that there is one habit that you can develop that will help keep you and your family healthier? Washing your hands properly with an appropriate cleaning agent can remove viruses, bacteria, and dirt from your hands that could cause illness.

If you know someone who has a chronic condition, hand washing becomes even more important to help that person to avoid illness. To get the most from hand washing, you need to know what type of soap from your medical supply store works best and how to properly wash your hands to effectively remove germs.

When Should You Wash Your Hands?

You need to wash your hands at the following times:

  • Before eating
  • After using the toilet
  • Before and after being around sick people
  • Using tissues
  • Any other occasions when your hands may pick up germs

These times correspond to those incidents when you are most likely to get feces, dirt, or respiratory germs on your hands.

For example, sneezing or coughing into your hand deposits germs from your lungs onto your hands. If you don’t wash your hands, you can contaminate doorknobs, computer keyboards, your cell phone, and every other surface that you touch.

Someone else can pick up your germs by touching those surfaces after you do and then touching their face. If fact, even if you don’t notice, you touch your face an average of 23 times an hour. Touching the face is how many illnesses enter the body through germs getting into the mouth, nose, or eyes.

When you and others in your community wash hands regularly, the following problems reduce:

  • Respiratory illnesses drop by up to 21%
  • Those with weakened immune systems have up to 58% fewer cases of diarrhea
  • Among the general population, illnesses with diarrhea reduce by up to 40%
  • Antibiotic resistance decreases because fewer people get sick with conditions needing antibiotics

What Type of Soap Should You Get from a Medical Supply Store for Hand Washing?

When you wash your hands, skip the hand sanitizer and antibacterial soap. On your next trip to a medical supply store, pick up some plain hand soap. Antibiotic soaps do not perform better than regular soap and may encourage bacterial resistance.

Hand sanitizers don’t get rid of all germs and can leave chemicals or dirt on your hands. If you find plain hand soap dries out your skin, feel free to apply moisturizer to your hands after thoroughly washing them.

How Should You Wash Your Hands?

To get the most effect from washing your hands, don’t just rinse them briefly under water. You must thoroughly lather the soap in your hands and scrub every part of your hands for at least 20 seconds.

Find your favorite song lyrics that last this long and sing along while you wash. Dry your hands thoroughly with a towel and not an air dryer to prevent spreading germs through the bathroom.

Properly washing your hands can prevent illnesses and save lives. If you don’t already have this habit, start today. You can pick up some hand soap from your nearest medical supply store and use it throughout the day to stay healthy and keep those around you from getting sick, too.

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