How to correctly wash hands

Hand washing is a basic but extremely important care to avoid catching or transmitting different types of infectious diseases, especially after being in environments with a high risk of contamination, such as a public place or the hospital, for example.

Thus, knowing how to wash your hands properly is very important to eliminate viruses and bacteria that may be on the skin and cause infections in the body. See other care needed to use the bathroom of the school, hotel or work without catching diseases . 

What is the importance of washing hands?

Washing your hands is a very important step in combating infectious diseases, whether by viruses or bacteria. This is because, often the first contact with a disease happens through the hands that, when they are brought to the face and come into direct contact with the mouth, eyes and nose, end up leaving viruses and bacteria that result in infection.

Some of the diseases that can be easily prevented with hand washing include:

  • Colds and flu;
  • Respiratory infections;
  • Hepatitis A;
  • Leptospirosis;
  • E.coli infection ;
  • Toxoplasmosis;
  • Infection with salmonella  sp .;

In addition, any other type of infectious disease or new infection can also be combated by washing hands.

8 steps to wash your hands properly

The 8 most important steps that must be followed to ensure that your hands are washed correctly include:

  1. Put soap and clean water on your hands;
  2. Rub the palm of each hand;
  3. Rub your fingertips on the palm of your other hand;
  4. Rub between the fingers of each hand;
  5. Rub the thumb of each hand;
  6. Wash the back of each hand;
  7. Wash the wrists of both hands;
  8. Dry with a clean towel or paper towel.

In total, the hand washing process should last for at least 20 seconds, as this is the time necessary to ensure that all hand spaces are being washed.

A good tip at the end of the wash is to use the paper towel, which was used to dry your hands, to turn off the tap and to avoid coming into contact again with bacteria and viruses that were left on the tap when opening the water.

What kind of soap should you use?

The most suitable soap to wash your hands on a daily basis, both at home, at school or at work is the common soap. Antibacterial soaps are reserved for use in clinics and hospitals or when caring for someone with an infected wound, where there is a large load of bacteria.

Check out the recipe and learn how to make liquid soap using any bar soap.

Gel alcohol and disinfectant substances are also not the best options for disinfecting your hands on a daily basis, as they can leave your skin dry and create small wounds. But in any case, it can be useful to have a small pack of alcohol gel or antiseptic gel inside the bag to clean the toilet bowl you use at school or at work, before sitting down, for example.

When to wash your hands

You should wash your hands at least 3 times a day, but you also need to always wash after using the bathroom and before eating because this prevents diseases such as gastroenteritis that are caused by viruses that pass easily from one person to another through contamination fecal-oral.

So, to protect yourself and others, it is important to wash your hands:

  • After sneezing, coughing or touching your nose;
  • Before and after preparing raw foods like salad or sushi ;
  • After touching animals or their waste;
  • After touching the trash;
  • Before after changing the baby’s or bedridden’s diaper;
  • Before and after visiting a sick person;
  • Before and after touching wounds and;
  • Whenever the hands are apparently dirty.

Hand washing is especially suitable for those who care for babies, bedridden people, or those with weakened immune systems due to AIDS or cancer treatment because these people have a greater risk of becoming ill, making recovery more difficult.

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