Hand Sanitizer: Does it work?

By: Aaron Luna Email
By: Aaron Luna Email

As more people start preparing for flu season it seems like liquid hand sanitizers are popping up everywhere. But does the stuff really work and will it protect you from the Swine Flu and other viruses?

Pediatrician Patrice Whistler says, "It doesn't get rid of dirt and layers on the skin but it does kill viral particles and some bacterial particles." Whistler washes her hands about five times during each visit with her patients. "The very best thing to keep clean is to wash your hands with soap and water," says Whistler.

But for quick disinfecting between washes, hand sanitizers will do the trick says Whistler. "Not a substitute for soap and water but a pretty good adjunct treatment and a pretty good on the fly in the classroom."

No matter the sanitizer the most important ingredient is alcohol. Dr. Whistler says, "And that's what you're looking for is a high percentage of alcohol." Sixty percent will do trick when it comes to killing Swine and other types of flu.

Experts recommend using hand sanitizer at least three or four times a day and say rub it in until your hands are dry.


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