Soap or hand sanitizer, which one is better?

Soap or hand sanitizer, which one is better?

Do you know that your hands aren't actually as smooth as they appear?

The microscopic image of your skin will reveal that there are a lot of bumps and creeks in your palms where the microorganisms can hide, thrive and cause you diseases. However, there are some things that can save you from these little monsters, and they are soap and hand sanitizer. In today’s time, one of the best flu prevention tips is to wash and sanitize your hands frequently. 


But which one of them do you think is better?


How to use them to get the best efficiency? 


Let's learn more!


As we all know, repetitively touching your face with your hands without sanitising is the most common way of virus transmission to your respiratory system and that can lead to an infection. But some of us just can’t help it and keep touching our face without even our own knowledge. So we need to keep that habit in check.


Now, talking about the structure of this virus, there is a lipid membrane surrounding the pathogen. This lipid layer has a hydrophobic tail and a hydrophilic head. This structure helps the virus survive in adverse conditions. However, if we find a way to destroy this structure’s integrity, we can fight this little monster. Let’s see how soap and sanitizer affect the chemical structure of this pathogen.


Mechanisms of soap vs. sanitizer:

The mechanisms of both sanitizer and soap are different in their own ways. A soap is made up of molecules that resemble the lipid molecules in the coat of the virus. The benefit of this resemblance is that when you apply soap to your hands, these little molecules get in between the lipid coat molecules of the virus and disrupt the coat. Later on, they coat the genetic material (RNA) of the virus and the entire bubble is washed off when you run water over it. As simple as that.


On the other hand, sanitizer has a bit of a different mechanism. The viral particles, when surrounded with water, the hydrophobic interactions cause the bonds to tighten and protect the genetic material inside. However, when you dry out these molecules completely, they still keep their stability. But, when treated with alcohol, something different happens to the viral particles. Their protein structure responsible for their stability just loosens up and the molecules get some space to roam around, and eventually it disintegrates.  


How to use soap? 

The entire process of destroying the virus happens in a second or two. However, doctors suggest washing your hands for about 20 seconds at a stretch to stifle the chances of any infection at all. You can follow the WHO guidelines for handwash. 


All you need to do is not miss out on any part of your skin while washing your hands. There are some foaming hand washes available in the market too. So, does a foaming hand soap kill germs more efficiently? We would suggest using a liquid hand soap over a foaming one because statistics suggests that where a foaming soap reduced the number of bacteria from 3.6 to 2.6 on an average, a liquid soap reduced it from 3.6 to 1.2 on the other hand.


Benefits of soap:

  • Soap and water wash the dirt away

  • Covers most area of the skin

  • Dirt can hide the viral particles but as soap water removes all of it, there are lesser chances of those pathogens staying on the skin


How to use a hand sanitizer?

A sanitizer is very easy to use. All you need to do is, take a pea sized amount in your hand and rub it over your entire hand without missing a spot. Cover your fingers, palms, the back of your hand and go till your wrists. 


Although, just make sure you don’t overuse sanitizer because that can dry out your skin.


Benefits of sanitizer:

  • Can be carried and used anywhere

  • Doesn’t need the use of a sink

  • Doesn’t need water


One more thing to be considered along with protection from COVID-19 is protection from any kind of other pathogenic infections that might lower your immunity and make it easier for the virus to enter and attack your body. 


If you prefer a contactless delivery of such essentials like soap and sanitizers, the Asepso professional hand gel sanitizer from Life Pharmacy an online pharmacy in the UK will be a good choice. It is a fragrance-free alcohol-based sanitizer that will help you keep your hands germ free. The 50 ml pack is handy and can be kept in your pocket or your purse. You can use it whenever needed and get your hands germ-free.


You may have heard some rumours about hand sanitizer dangers and antibacterial soap dangers. According to them, these products are carcinogenic and cause various types of cancer. However, there is no evidence to these rumours and it is a huge misconception stuck in the heads of people. Possibilities are that people have confused alcohol with acetone and hence think of alcohol-based products as carcinogenic. 


Hand sanitizers and soaps are certified by authorities and are extremely safe to be used on your skin. As explained above, focus on the beneficial effects of soaps and sanitizers and keep yourself safe. Stay home, stay safe! Let’s flatten the curve together.


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