Scared & grossed out yet?
Infectious agents like bacteria and viruses are pervasive. They are in your own home, in
your own kitchen sink and on your own kitchen counters where you prepare food for your family. You simply can’t escape them. If you are looking for one simple way to wipe out germs and reduce your chances of becoming sickened by them, it would be to wash your hands regularly using plain soap and water. It has been shown time and time again that washing your hands with soap and water can kill viruses that cause:
- The common cold
- Hepatitis A
- Acute gastroenteritis
- Other illnesses
In fact, studies have found that soap and water work better than the waterless, alcohol
-based hand wipes and rubs.
Please do not make the mistake of using these antibacterial liquids and soaps. These products kill both good and bad bacteria, which is why they are prone to contributing to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Further, the active ingredient in most antibacterial products is triclosan, an antibacterial agent that kills bacteria and inhibits bacterial growth. But not only does triclosan kill bacteria, it also has been shown to kill human cells.
It is important to realize that your skin is your primary defense against bacteria — NOT the soap. It is rare when a germ on your skin will cause a problem — it is typically only an issue when you transfer that to your nose, mouth or an open wound like cracked skin. Avoid touching those areas if you know you won’t have the opportunity to wash your hands right away if you know you may have been exposed to germs.
*** Stay tuned for Part III of our series on how A strong immune system is the best defense against any pathogenic bacteria***