Hand sanitizer has made it to our list of monthly items as it has become a daily necessity these days. World Health Organization (WHO) and doctors worldwide advised people to use a sanitizer in order to protect themselves from COVID-19. However, the overuse of the product has no benefits. In fact, it is not recommended as it can affect your health greatly.
We must remember that no matter what the labels suggest, sanitizer is made up of a lot of chemicals at the end of the day, and its use must be restricted.
Excessive Use Can Lead to Health Issues
There are plenty of options available in the market at the moment as the demand for the item surged in previous months. However, there are two main kinds available; alcohol-based, and antibiotic based – both added to kill germs.
Other ingredients include phthalates, usually found in scented products. At its worst, phthalates can cause abnormalities in hormone production, leading to infertility and other health issues. So if your sanitizer smells like roses, you know it belongs in the trash can and not on your hands. There is a possibility that more harmful ingredients might as well be added to the sanitizer. It is best you source your item from a reliable place.
Dr. Ali Aziz, Consultant Physician, and Senior Instructor Faculty at Aga Khan University Hospital says, “Since COVID-19, antibiotic-based sanitizers are more common in the market. If overused, bacteria will eventually develop resistance. Later when required, no antibiotic will work”.
Aziz further added that alcohol-based sanitizers would not develop resistance, so they are OK to use.
Skin Disorders Caused By Alcohol-Based Sanitizers
Skin experts dread consumption of alcohol as it ages the skin quickly but when it comes to applying it on your hands in the form of a sanitizer, a moderate amount is suggested. An excessive amount can lead to skin disorders.
Dr. Naila Asghar, Postgraduate Trainee and Cardiology Resident at NICVD says that alcohol-based sanitizers must be restricted as they cause skin disorders such as Eczema. This is because alcohol irritates the skin. Other than that, it also interrupts your natural oil generation, which then causes flaky and dry skin.
What is Recommended?
One can’t avoid sanitizer, especially during a pandemic. While you are in public places such as offices, gyms, or cafes, try to carry your own plant-based sanitizers or sanitizers made out of natural ingredients to avoid harmful ingredients to enter your body.
Make Your Own Sanitizer
Making your own sanitizer will help you stay away from harmful ingredients. Buy a four-ounce spray bottle. Clean it thoroughly and add three ounces of sterilized water. To the bottle, you can add eucalyptus essential oils, aloe vera gel (try getting natural), clove, ten drops of cinnamon, and rosemary. To that, you can add either lemon drops or any other essential oil you like. Shake it well, spray on your hands, and you’re done!
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