Why Hand Sanitizer Should be an Integral Part of Your Workplace Setting?

A few months ago, the mysterious virus causing pneumonia-like symptoms was heard for the first time in the history of mankind. Today, much of the world has come to a standstill. Over 4 billion people across the globe are maintaining some form of lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Experts have said that the virus may never go away, even with the introduction of vaccines. But, the lockdown will not continue forever. It will be over one day and already countries have started relaxing lockdown rules, including in India. There will come a time (sooner than later) to rejoin work, but given the nature of the coronavirus, everything is going to be different. Offices and other public places will have to follow strict disinfectant guidelines to make it safe for everyone.

When at work, employees make use of their hands to open doors, write up a report, shake hands with a new client and so much more. These activities expose hands to harmful bacteria and germs, which result in productivity loss and a high rate of absenteeism. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic shook the world to take hand hygiene seriously, 80% of all common infections were transmitted by hands. The coronavirus simply got added to that ever-growing list and if you still do not take the hygiene of your hands seriously, it will be too late. While the first thought would be to wash hands using water and soap, these are not always available. The next best thing is an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. The bottle of sanitizer can be carried in your pocket or kept on your office desk, and you can use it whenever you shake someone’s hand or have been working too long on your system. As a matter of fact, one of the disinfectant guidelines states that offices should place hand sanitization stations to promote a safe and healthy working environment.

Hand sanitizers must be a part of the workplace culture and environment because:

hand sanitizer in the workplace
  • Alcohol-based sanitizers are known to kill 99.9% germs
  • Good hand hygiene promotes good health and reduces absenteeism among employees
  • Employees who use hand sanitizer frequently have lower chances of getting sick
  • Using a hand sanitizer for 30 seconds kills as much bacteria as washing hands for 2 minutes

When you are selecting hand sanitizer for the office or for your personal use, make sure that the alcohol content is above 60% and not more than 95%. CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer that has more than 60% ethanol or greater than 70% isopropanol.

Important locations for keeping hand sanitizers at office:

Companies that encourage employees to regularly use hand sanitizer have healthier workers. Employees should be encouraged to use hand sanitizer at least 5 times a day. However, with the pandemic still going large and strong, it is suggested that one should use the sanitizer as frequently as possible, especially before and immediately after shaking someone’s hand. The only way that employees will make use of hand sanitizers frequently if it is easily accessible and within their sight. Here are a few key places at an office where hand sanitizers should be placed:

  • Entry and exit points – Doorknobs are hotbeds for germs and bacteria. As per CBS News, a single germ-filled door handle can infect half the office within a few hours. So, if a hand sanitization station can be set up near all the entrances and exits, whoever walks through the door is likely to sanitize their hands immediately. This will prevent the spread of infection.
hand sanitizer for workplace
  • Desk of every employee – You might think that you have the cleanest hands in the entire office, but germs and bacteria could be crawling all over your desk. It could be that someone else was on your desk, using your computer, mouse and phone. Whatever be the reason, desks are not always the cleanest of places, but to continue working and keeping yourself safe, it is advised that you use a hand sanitizer. Keep one at your desk so that you can use it frequently.
  • Cafeterias –Food shouldn’t be consumed with germ-ridden hands. This is why hand sanitizers must be easily available in cafeterias, food rooms or any place in the office where food is consumed. The kitchen and the breakroom is considered to be the most germ-filled place in an office. Even though hand sanitizer is not a replacement to washing hands with soap or water, it can help prevent the spread of diseases when water and soap are not easily available.
  • Conference or meeting room – Conference or meeting rooms are generally packed with employees and also other visitors. There is a lot of shaking hands and lot of spit flying when excited employees are giving presentation to impress a new client. There may also be a lot of banging on the table when conversations get heated. This is why one must safeguard their hands from germs and make generous use of sanitizer.
  • Outside the bathroom – Inside the bathroom, you can water and soap. You can use that to clean your hands. But, do you think everybody cleans their hands properly? Sadly, not! This is why a bottle of hand sanitizer kept outside the bathroom is a good backup and it helps in making double sure that the employee leaving the bathroom has germ-free hands.

To conclude, you don’t want to fall sick and you don’t want your employees to fall sick. A healthy workforce is crucial for taking the success of your business to the next level. A bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer can do wonders when it comes to fighting germs and it can keep the workplace clean and healthy. So, start working on getting bulk sanitizers and setting up a sanitization station before employees start coming back.

Benefits of Topical Pain Relief Balms Over Popping Standard Pills

Joint and muscle pain can seriously hamper the quality of your life. One minute you are going for a run or playing outside with your dog, and the next minute you are glued to your couch with severe pains and aches. Sometimes, the pain might become so unbearable that you’ll end up trying just about anything to get some relief. But, do you know which is the right solution for you?

The market is filled with hundreds of pain solutions, from over-the-counter to prescription pills and from oral to topical balms. So, how do you decide?

In most cases, people start with over-the-counter pills as they think popping pills is the easiest and fastest way to get relief. In doing so, they’re forgetting the risks that come with popping pills. Even prescription pills are fraught with side-effects and it can be harmfulto people, especially chronic pain sufferers. The other option that people rely on is applying topical pain relief balms. Also, this is one of the least risky and most cost-effective alternatives.

Topical pain relievers – what are they?

Topical pain relievers

Topical pain relievers refer to anything that is applied to the outside of the body as opposed to popping pills orally. For pain, this can mean hot and ice compresses, as well as, pain relief cream, spray, gel or balm.

Typically, there are two types of topical pain relievers – cold and hot. The cold rubs generally contain menthol, which is derived from eucalyptus, peppermint and pennyroyal. The hot rubs contain capsaicin and this is a chili extract that gives it that tingly, spicy feeling. Both cold and hot are effective pain methods and it is mainly because extreme temperatures work well as they numb or turn off the nerve endings. This stops pain signals from reaching the brain. If your brain is unable to talk with that part of the body, it will not cause you to feel any kind of pain.

Who should use topical pain relievers?

Topical Pain Relievers

Topical pain relievers like, a pain relief balm can be used by people of all ages. It is especially worth considering if you are someone who is suffering from chronic pain or experiencing significant side-effects from taking oral pain medications. Some of the common side-effects of pills are nausea, depression, ulcers, fatigue, upset stomach, skin rash and heartburn. Even organ damage is a possibility as whatever you take by mouth has to be processed by your kidneys and liver. Moreover, you might experience a dependency on pills if you keep taking them.

Advantages of pain relief balms and other topical pain relievers

Advantages of pain relief balm
  1. Pain relief balms work locally and act quicker than medication

Both oral and topical pain medications block nerve endings from sending any kind of signal to the brain and this helps with pain. Since your brain is unable to process the pain, you don’t feel the pain. However, the problem with oral medication is that it deals with pain at a body-wide, systematic level while pain relief balms or gels keep the process local.

You can directly apply the balm where it hurts so that the nerves present in that area can be turned off immediately. This is also healthier for the body, especially if you are using pain relievers to get relief from chronic pain. With pain relief balms, you are not numbing or deactivating the nerve endings in your entire body, but only the area where you are experiencing discomfort. The problem with oral medication is that it numbs nerves at a systematic level and with time, it makes the nerves less sensitive, which results in more pain in the future.

As the pain relief balm is rubbed directly on the area that hurts, the skin absorbs it readily and provides the relief that you need. It does not take so much time as oral medication as balms do not need to be processed by organs to enter the bloodstream. So, there’s no need to wait for 30 minutes to get relief. You can just apply a pain relief balm and get instant results.

  1. Allows your body to heal quickly

Pain Balm Heal Quickly

Since you are only rubbing the analgesic in one particular area of pain, your body is going to work in full-force to heal it. With oral medication, there is the risk of your body not understanding any pain at all. So, your body might actually forget to even go through the process of healing. Pain relief balms and other topicals relieve pain without stopping the natural healing process of the body. Even though you are not feeling any pain after rubbing the balm, your body knows that something is wrong. So, it is going to send white blood cells and other such fighters to help your body get back in shape. This results in faster healing.

  1. Side-effects of topicals are fewer than oral medication

Topical vs Oral Medication

Other than minor skin sensitivities, balms and other topicals do not have many side-effects. If you are someone with sensitive skin, you might experience irritation, a rash or burning sensation after you’ve applied the balm. You can even reapply the balm if needed. But, if you consume too many pain medication, you might develop a dependency, liver problems and so on. A pain relief balm and such other topical pain relievers are easy to use. You simply have to apply it to the area where you are experiencing pain or discomfort, and let it rest. Within a few minutes, you will start to feel relief. They’re also easy to carry with you no matter where you are, such as when out camping, driving or at work. You can just apply and continue with your chores.

COVID-19 & Hand Sanitizers: Here are the Answers that You are Dying to Know

You already know about COVID-19. After all, you are living through your worst nightmare, what with the extended lockdowns. Even those who thought work-from-home was much better than going to the office each day is craving to step outside and smell the fresh air. Everyone is waiting with bated breath for things to go back to normal. But, that’s not happening anytime soon. As reported by CNET, leaders warn that the coronavirus pandemic is far from over. There is a possibility of a second wave coming real soon.

Amidst the growing concerns regarding COVID-19, the demand for alcohol-based hand sanitizers has skyrocketed across the seven continents. WHO (World Health Organization) and CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) have stated that sanitizers are not just a quick fix, but its diligent use, along with maintaining the practice of social distance is possibly the best way to keep the virus away. Additionally, it is crucial to maintain one’s personal hygiene and a balanced diet to prevent the risk of getting infected, as well as, spreading the virus to others.

While almost everyone is aware of the basics before purchasing a hand sanitizer, it can get difficult to separate facts from fiction, thanks to WhatsApp University’s forwards.

So, let’s find the answers to some of the lingering questions about hand sanitizers that might have crossed your mind.

Question 1: Why 60% and above, and not 100% alcohol concentration?

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers

Alcohol is considered to be highly effective in killing microbes, including viruses and bacteria. However, you cannot rub undiluted alcohol on your palms as that will dry out your skin or even cause irritation. This is the reason why hand sanitizers make use of Isopropyl alcohol. You can use sanitizers as frequently as you want, and it will not cause any irritation or dryness.

Studies have shown that hand sanitizers need to have at least 60% alcohol to be able to kill viruses and germs. The FDA recommends a concentration between 60% and 95% isopropanol (ethanol) alcohol to be the most effective in protecting against coronavirus. The more the alcohol concentration, the more is the sanitizer’s germicidal efficiency.

But, 100% alcohol concentration is not recommended as that leads to dryness of skin and itchiness.

Question 2: Is a pump of hand sanitizer enough to kill the virus in the hand?

Hand sanitizer India

Just like with water and soap, hand sanitizers are effective only when you use it in the proper way. If you don’t use the right amount or the right technique, it won’t work.

When you use a sanitizer, make sure that your hands are covered entirely. You can take a few drops in one palm of your hand and then, rub your hands together. Do not forget to rub it between your fingers as well and remember not to rub too quickly. Once the sanitizer is completely absorbed, stop only then.

However, if you are coughing or sneezing into your hands, just a pump won’t be enough to disinfect your hands. Since your hands may have been contaminated with mucous, you will need to apply more than a few drops. If water and soap are available, make sure to wash your hands properly after you’ve sneezed.

Question 3: Is making homemade sanitizers a good idea?

Homemade Sanitizers

You might have received a number of WhatsApp forwards claiming that you can make homemade alcohol-based hand sanitizers. You may have even seen several DIY hand sanitizer videos on YouTube, including those that use hard liquor like, vodka. But, in such alcohol, the ethanol concentration is generally 30-45%, which is not very high and not enough to kill microbes. Moreover, pure alcohol evaporates quickly and fails to kill viruses or bacteria efficiently, especially when the air is not very humid.

While rubbing alcohol on scrapes and cuts could be useful, a DIY hand sanitizer is not a good idea.

Question 4: Is there an expiry date on hand sanitizers?

Hand sanitizers come with an expiry date

Unfortunately, yes. Hand sanitizers come with an expiry date, just like everything else in life. Alcohol is volatile, and therefore, it slowly evaporates with the passage of time and the sanitizer starts to lose its ability to effectively kill viruses, bacteria, and other microbes. Even though the scarcity of hand sanitizers due to the COVID-19 pandemic might make a lot of people overlook this factor, it is best if you don’t. Make sure that you’re not using a sanitizer that has already expired.

Hopefully, this clears all your doubts regarding hand sanitizers. Make sure to get sanitizers with more than 60% alcohol concentration, preferably between 80 and 95% as you need to defeat the deadly coronavirus.

Question 5: Are hand sanitizers more effective than washing hands using water and soap?

Hand Sanitizer with Alcohol

Even though hand sanitizers have somewhat become a staple today, they are not a replacement to soap and water. So, do not use hand sanitizers as a substitute. If soap/hand wash and water are available, make sure to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. For maintaining proper hand hygiene, it is important that you wash your hands using an antibacterial soap or hand wash.

Coming to hand sanitizers, they’re waterless solutions and perfect for use when water and soap are not easily available. You can carry hand sanitizer bottles in your pocket, bag or car. They are a quick fix to eliminate germs and saves you the trouble of looking for soap and water when you are camping or out on the road.

However, water scarcity is a real issue in today’s world. This is why you are recommended to use hand sanitizers frequently even when you are home in lockdown. But, also make it a point to wash your hand with soap and water in between using hand sanitizers. This will make sure that your hands are clean and germ-free.

Friendly advice: Do not drink hand sanitizers. They don’t work that way. They’re only for your hands.