It is the little things that make a big difference. Exercising regularly, and consuming a healthy diet are all requisites of keeping yourself healthy. But you are still missing out on something crucial. Something that might not be in your wildest of guesses – handwashing.
Yes, you read this right. All our childhood, we have been taught the importance of handwashing. Sadly, only a little importance is given to it now.
So, this World Hand Hygiene Day, let’s come together and revisit the imperativeness of handwashing for a healthier life.
Why handwashing matters?
As per studies, the majority of people are not properly washing their hands, or not washing at all. Only 5% of people practice hand hygiene and wash their hands properly. When it comes to washing hands during household chores or having meals, only 20% of individuals wash their hands before food preparation, and 39% before having food.
These startling stats and figures are a cause for concern. But it is not the only reason why handwashing matters. Here are a few important reasons why handwashing should be a healthy habit you must develop:
Protects against infectious diseases
No one likes to suffer from diseases. They can be discomforting, a huge inconvenience and can obstruct our plans and day-to-day affairs. While most people say diseases and illnesses cannot be prevented, you get them when you get them; however, it isn’t the case. One of the reasons why we suffer from infectious diseases is because we do not follow basic hygiene protocols. One such protocol is regularly washing hands. Proper hand hygiene supplementing other critical measures is highly effective when it comes to stopping the spread of infection. Proper hand hygiene can prevent up to 50% of infectious diseases.
Can reduce the risk of Covid-19
Ever since 2019, the world has been battling the Covid pandemic. Although there have been highs and lows when it comes to the number of infections, Covid has not disappeared from the face of the world, it might not in the near future. Hence, it is essential to stay protected for our own health and for those around us. Proper hand hygiene can reduce the risk of Covid-19 by killing the SARS virus responsible for the outbreak. Hence, apart from wearing masks, and maintaining social distance, hand hygiene is also crucial in this fight against COVID–19.
Profitable for you
Investing in hand hygiene can yield significant returns. By washing hands frequently you can keep diseases at bay, thereby generating savings in the form of treatment costs you avoid.
Can prevent acne
Are you struggling with acne? If yes, you need to introspect your hand hygiene. Apart from oily skin, acne is caused by germs and bacteria that you can catch from a million things around you. Surprisingly, if the stats are concerned, there are about 1000-1500 bacteria living on your hand. Imagine what will happen if your hands touch your face.
These bacteria will transfer to your face, which can lead to acne. You can use a gazillion of skin care products, cut down on oily food, and apply sunscreen, but if you don’t give enough attention to your hand hygiene, your acne might not go away anytime soon.
How often should you wash your hands?
Coming to the most important question, how often do you think you should wash your hands? Once a day? Wrong.
Here is when you should be washing your hands:
- Before having food
- Before and after caring for sick people
- Before and after treating an injury
- After using the toilet
- After cleaning up a child or changing diapers
- After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose
- After feeding or touching an animal
- After touching garbage
- After using your phone
- After touching your hair
- After scratching
The list is endless. It’s essential to wash your hands or sanitize them when you think you have contracted germs and bacteria.
How to properly wash your hands?
What do you think is the right way to wash your hands? Simply wash it with water? Wrong. Ideally, you must use soap and rub your hands, including the part under your nails or between your fingers for 30-40 seconds. It is also important to dry them with a clean towel. A towel can be a breeding ground for bacteria, hence you have to ensure that you are using a clean towel.
The bottom line
Proper hand hygiene might seem trivial and insignificant but it is of utmost importance for your health and those around you. Proper hand hygiene can prevent the spread of infectious diseases, control acne and improve your health.
So, as we are coming to the end of this blog post, let this be a reminder for you to get up and wash your hands – not only on World Hand Hygiene Day but 365 days a year.
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