According to guidelines set out by the CDC, hand washing or the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers prevents infections in the human body by reducing the number of viable pathogens that contaminate hands as a result of coming in contact with surfaces that have not been cleansed.
The method by which viruses and bacteria are destroyed during the hand washing process is mechanical, in that the pathogens are removed with friction and then rinsed off the skin, while laboratory data shows us that alcohol-based sanitizers, inactivate the cellular walls by collapsing them in on each other. This alters their composition and effectively dismantles the nucleus of the cell, not only destroying it but making it impossible for it to communicate or reproduce.
Clinical research shows us that the use of hand sanitizers for the removal of pathogens, including a continuous and vigorous rubbing of the hands for at least 30 seconds using a 70% or higher ethanol-based hand sanitizer, eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and viruses that contribute to illnesses like COVID-19 and similar viral strains.
Hand hygiene is vital to those in the medical field and to further protect hands from picking up and potentially spreading pathogens, the CDC states that the use of hand sanitizers as an addition to hand washing is recommended for all medical professionals. The CDC highlights the importance of handwashing but also specifies that this 30-second application of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, is acceptable and suitable for the removal of pathogens, based on the studies they conducted.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are swiftly becoming a very important companion in our day to day activities.