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Excerpts from a “COVID-19: Special alert” – on the downside of hand sanitizers

BELIZE CITY, Mon. Mar. 23, 2020– With the heightened focus on this looming crisis, we all have to be alert to the latest official information, and also to “sleep wid wi own eye.” The below excerpts were taken from a health newsletter, Easy Health Options [email protected]

The newsletter, dated March 18, is written by a “Virginia Tims-Lawson; Founder, Peak Pure & Natural; Contributor, Easy Health Options.” While utilizing the newsletter to promote a health/nutrition product, Peak Organic Alkalizing Greens, the writer nevertheless makes some very interesting observations that are worth our consideration in doing our best to protect ourselves from the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Here are the excerpts:

…In fact, The New York Times is reporting that as of the first week in March, sales of hand sanitizer were already 73 percent higher than the same time last year.

And, it’s no wonder… the CDC, in offering advice about reducing risk of contracting COVID-19, has stressed that hand sanitizer works as long as it has a high alcohol content.

So, in anticipation of the shortage, I had already bought some, but I am really concerned about how others will keep the germs away — especially as it’s now known that this virus has started community spread.

But there is a definite downside to hand sanitizer you need to be aware of…

If you’re using hand sanitizer, here’s what you need to know…

While hand sanitizer is a great solution for keeping your hands (hopefully) germ-free on the go, it does come with some drawbacks. If you’re making it part of your protection strategy against COVID-19, you should be aware of them…

The CDC says that if you’re going to use hand sanitizer, you need to go with one that is high in alcohol (at least 60 percent).

Here’s the problem with that…

Skin damage, infection and killing off beneficial bacteria

When you use anything on your skin too often, it can lead to irritation and cause your skin to break down.

But when you add a high level of alcohol to that equation, the problems can become even worse — leaving your skin dry, cracked and open to a host of germs that can make their way inside your body and cause infection.

Isn’t this exactly what you’re using hand sanitizer to try to avoid?

To top it off, alcohol doesn’t just kill bad bacteria and viruses. It can also kill the good bacteria that inhabit your skin and work to protect you.

As Dr. Trevan Fischer, surgical oncologist and assistant professor of surgical oncology at John Wayne Cancer Institute at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, puts it, “If you’re beating down a natural defense the body has, you could be causing some chronic risk over time.”

And, there’s still more…

Studies have found that applying alcohol to your skin can reduce its barrier function, making the membrane more permeable to allowing harmful chemicals (such as the nitrosamines found in cosmetics) and resistant bacteria to slip in.

So, with all of those negatives, should you skip the hand sanitizer?

Under current circumstances I’m not recommending it.

The official CDC guidelines instead say to use good old-fashioned soap and water whenever possible, but when you just can’t wash your hands (like when you’re nowhere near a sink or running water), using hand sanitizer is still the right choice.

The key is that if you can get to water and soap, it’s hands-down the best choice.

When washing, just be sure to take the advice of the FDA and Harvard doctors and soap all surfaces of your hands, from the inside of your fingers to around your nail beds and up to your wrists. Also, make sure you wash for a full 20 seconds — about as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song.

I know that seems like simple advice, but it’s coming from the experts, and right now we need to do what they advise…

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