Why is it important to keep your hands clean?
Four stages to quality hand hygiene - Hand cleansing, hand drying, hand sanitising & hand moisturising.
- Hand Cleansing- Aside from cleaning hands when they look visibly dirty, cleaning hands regularly will remove high levels of bacteria and viruses present on the skin. In order to ensure your hands are correctly cleaned. Follow the below instructions:
- Wet hands with clean water, the temperature does not make a difference. Then apply soap.
- Lather soap, not missing out the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub for at least 15 seconds.
- Rinse off the soap under clean running water.
- Dry your using a clean towel, or air dry them.
(Centre for disease control and prevention, 2019)
- Hand Drying - Wet hands are at more risk of spreading bacteria than dry hands. When hands are washed some bacteria will remain on your hands, to avoid spreading the remaining bacteria further; it is important to ensure hands are thoroughly dry before continuing with your day. This is advised to be done with a disposable absorbent hand towel or air dried.
- Hand Sanitising - When access to soap and water is not available, hand sanitiser can be very successful in reducing the number of bacterial counts on your hands. Any hand sanitiser that is used should have a minimum alcohol content of 60%.
- Hand Moisturising- Maintaining good skin condition is important when it comes to ensuring good hand hygiene. Moisturising your hands after washing ensures that your hands remain soft and supple and avoiding dryness, soreness or cracking, especially when hands are washed regularly.