This is the only way to protect your hands against contagious diseases
For handwashing to protect against infectious diseases like the flu, you must follow these rules
Have you caught a cold again? The likelihood that you noticed the pathogen through your hands is more significant than you think. Even if you wash your hands regularly. Because you can do a lot wrong. With our tips, sick people have no chance of surviving on their hands.
Why is it important to wash your hands regularly?
Catching the cold virus is damn quick. If your counterpart or the person who touched the dumbbells in the gym or a doorknob in front of you is sick, you have the virus on your own. Then a quick grip on the nose or in the eyes is enough – and you lie flat the next day. This scenario happens all the time, especially during the flu and cold season.
Therefore, correct handwashing is an essential thing to protect yourself and others from infection. “Washing hands reduces the risk that pathogens get into the body with food, for example, or through the mucous membranes, or are passed on to family members, friends or colleagues,” said the experts from the Federal Center for Health Education (BGA).
How do I wash my hands properly?
So that washing your hands protects against infection, you should pay attention to these 5 points:
- First, hold your hands under running water. The temperature can be chosen to be comfortable.
- Soap hands thoroughly, including the palms of the hands and the back of the hands, fingertips, spaces between fingers, thumbs, and fingernails.
- Gently rub the soap in all areas. Liquid soaps are more hygienic than bars of soap, especially in public washrooms.
- Rinse hands under running water. A disposable towel or your elbow should be used to close the tap in public toilets.
- Dry your hands carefully, also in the spaces between the fingers. At home, everyone should use their towel.
Tip: If you have no way of washing your hands on the go, you should avoid touching your mouth, eyes, or nose with your hands. Use hand (from 9.00 €) sanitiser to disinfect your hands without water and to protect yourself from pathogens when you are out and about.
How long should I wash my hands?
To get your hands clean, you should soap them for about 20 to 30 seconds. If you have just shaken hands with someone who has had a bad cold, you can lather and wash your hands a little longer.
Tip: When washing your hands, add the song “Happy Birthday” twice in your head. That corresponds to about 20 seconds.
How many times a day should I wash my hands?
Don’t just wash your hands when they’re visibly dirty. Pathogens cannot be seen with the naked eye. Hand washing is compulsory on these occasions:
- return home
- Visit the toilet
- Changing diapers or helping a child clean up after using the toilet
- Blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- Contact with waste
- Contact with animals, animal feed, or animal waste
- the food
- taking medication
Before and after:
- the preparation of meals, especially when processing raw meat
- contact with the sick
- the treatment of wounds
Why should I wash my hands after using the toilet?
Pathogens can be found everywhere in the toilet area, including the toilet lid, the fume cupboard, and the door handle. Public toilets, in particular, are used by many people you have not seen before, so you do not know whether they have just caught a cold or not. This is why handwashing is mandatory after using the toilet, especially in public restrooms.
But sources of infection also lurk in other places, namely on all objects touched by people. Even where you often don’t suspect it. Smartphones, door handles, and touchscreens are actual germs. Dumbbells and the handles on the equipment in fitness studios are a paradise for bacteria and germs because they are touched by several people and are damp with sweat.
You can protect yourself from disease by disinfecting items that multiple people share before use. If this is not possible, avoid touching your face after use.
What should I wash my hands with?
Ensure the water temperature is comfortable and do not use harsh chemical cleaning agents; otherwise, you will not do your hands any good. Washing too often can also damage your skin. The protective acid mantle of your skin keeps the uppermost horny layer resistant. This can be washed out by washing your hands too often. Skin irritation can be the result, which in turn can become entry points for pathogens. Therefore, you should use a mild, pH-neutral washing substance to wash your hands.
Do I have to disinfect my hands?
You don’t have to force disinfect your hands. Simply washing with soap is sufficient. However, it can make sense if there is a higher risk of infection. These include bacteria such as salmonella or highly contagious diseases such as flu or norovirus infections. Even if you contact people in need of care, it is advisable to disinfect your hands. Necessary: Get advice on using a disinfectant. The first point of contact can be doctors, pharmacists, or the health department.
How do I dry my hands properly?
After washing, you should dry your hands thoroughly on a clean towel because: In a damp environment, microorganisms can hold on and multiply better. You should preferably use sterile, disposable towels or place your hands under a hot air dryer in public sanitary rooms. Used, damp towels are often contaminated with germs that could infect your hands again after washing. And then the whole procedure would have been in vain.
Unfortunately, just holding your hands underwater for a short time does not help at all. To protect yourself from pathogens, hands must be washed on all sides for at least 20 seconds and then dried with a clean, unused cloth. This is the only way to protect your hands against contagious diseases – and get through the cold season well.