Blog
Dec 08
Blog: National Handwashing Week

The first full week of December is National Handwashing Awareness Week. This year it falls December 6-12.  Because of the pandemic, handwashing reminders have been more frequent than usual, but they are no less important. Clean hands can save lives and help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other contagious diseases. 

But with all this important hand hygiene, some people are finding their hands are becoming dry or even chapped. The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends you still wash your hands as thoroughly as always, dry skin or not, but offers a few tips to keep your hands hydrated: handwashing

  • After washing your hands, air dry or only lightly towel them, leaving some water on your skin.
  • Then apply hand cream or ointment to your damp hands. 
  • Use products that contain mineral oil or petrolatum, are in a tube (not a pump-bottle), and are fragrance- and dye-free. 
  • If using hand sanitizer, apply hand cream or ointment right away after the sanitizer dries.
  • Keep your hands moist. Moist skin offers better protection from germs than dry, chapped skin.  

The Centers for Disease Control recommend that the best way to thoroughly wash your hands every time is to: 

  • Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands well by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

To prevent the spread of germs during the COVID-19 pandemic, you should wash your hands BEFORE and AFTER:

  • Touching your eyes, nose, or mouth.
  • Touching your mask.
  • Entering and leaving a public place.
  • Touching an item or surface that may be frequently touched by other people, such as door handles, tables, gas pumps, shopping carts, or electronic cashier registers/screens.

 
Remember, germs are tough little bugs that are quick to stick to your hands and anything you touch. When it comes to your health and the health of those close to you, you are never too busy or too hurried to wash your hands well with soap. Learn more about other healthcare topics that may be important to you at SaratogaHospital.org.  
 


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