a person using hand sanitizer

Things you should know

If you are up to date with current affairs, then you know that the most valuable commodity is not Oil {It just hit a low of -32$ a few weeks ago}. Instead, it is a hand sanitizer. A few months ago, this alcohol-based product was pretty much worthless. In fact, some people in developing countries did not even know about it until the covid disease came knocking on their doors. While the economy struggles to stay afloat, hundreds of pharmaceutical companies are shutting down. However, the antiseptic business and center doing PCR Travel test are flourishing. Share prices are at an all-time high and factories that release this product are employing more people than the car industry. Why is it that alcohol-based sterilizers are in demand?

Welcome to the Year 2020

The last time the world had a pandemic, most of us were not born. The last major outbreak to bring the world to its knees was the Spanish flu in 1918. In addition, this disease infected more than 500 million people. Fast forward, more than 100 years later we now have COVID-19. Ever since this disease became worldwide, specific protocols must be followed. Even visiting your family outside your country will require a PCR travel test or TTR. According to WHO, the best way to protect yourself is to adhere to social distancing rules and regularly clean your hands with an alcohol-based solution.

How it works

For an alcohol-based antibacterial to work, then it must contain at least 60% alcohol. This is because the germs are surrounded by an envelope protein that protects them. An alcohol solution destroys this protein, exposing the virus to externalities that kill it.

Are Alcohol Solutions Better Than Soap?

No, according to WHO, the best way to protect yourself from covid is to use soap. However, where soap is not readily available, then an alcohol-based solution will do. Soap breaks down lipid envelopes that protect germs. When you rub your hands together, the protein is broken down and the bacteria is killed in the process. Though alcohol-based solutions also kill enveloped pathogens, it is important to note that they will not kill non-enveloped viruses. Similarly, it is impractical to suggest that you should always walk around with soap in your pocket. A hand gel is preferred when soap is not available.

Why not buy a cleanser with 100% Alcohol?

The question makes sense from a layman’s perspective. However, as a doctor, the reason why this product can not be used is that it would dry out very quickly. Also, the concentration is too high and will only irritate the skin. In the process, you will not sanitize as often as scientists recommend. Sanitizers contain emollients that prevent irritation. These are mixtures that moisten your skin every time you use an alcohol solution.

Do these products expire?

The good thing about this product is that it takes one to two years before it expires. However, you must always remember that alcohol is a volatile product that quickly evaporates. Therefore, to increase the shelf life, store it away from direct sunlight. In addition, you can also store it in a cool place and dry place.