Things you may not know about sanitisers: UAE health ministry clarifies misconceptions

Things, sanitisers, UAE health ministry, clarifies, misconceptions

Dubai - Modern alcohol-based hand rubs (if used correctly) should not dry the hand.

By KT Report

Published: Sat 25 Jul 2020, 3:00 PM

Last updated: Sun 26 Jul 2020, 12:41 AM

Keeping a bottle of sanitiser handy has been part of people's safety check list when heading out amid the new normal. After all, it is the next best thing you can use to keep your hands clean, when soap and water are not available.
However, there are still quite a few things some people are not aware of when it comes to using hand rubs. The Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) recently tweeted a Q and A to help shed light on some misconceptions, urging residents to learn more about these pocket sanitisers.

Here are some of the top questions Mohap answered:

Q: If I overuse alcohol-based hand rubs, will it result in bacteria becoming 'more resistant' to sanitisers?
There is no reported or likely resistance to alcohol-based handrubs. Indeed, the more it is appropriately used, the less antibiotic-resistant bacteria are able to spread.
Q: How many times can someone use such sanitisers?
There is a common misconception that hands should be washed with every four or five applications of alcohol-based hand rub. There is no reason to do this.
Q: Does alcohol dry the hands or sting when applied?
Modern alcohol-based hand rubs (if used correctly) should not dry the hand. Today's handrubs all contain skin moisturisers, which help prevent dryness. Alcohol handrubs will sting if a person has any cuts or broken skin. Such areas should be covered with waterproof plasters. Allergic contact dermatitis resulting from the use of sanitisers is very rare.
Q: Are healthcare staff members adversely affected in any way by alcohol when they are cleaning their hands?
Published studies to date have shown that after using hand rubs, alcohol levels found in the blood are not detectable.
Q: What are the fire hazards related to alcohol-based hand rubs?
All alcohol-based products are potentially flammable and, therefore, they should be stored away from high temperatures and flames. The benefits of alcohol in terms of infection prevention far outweigh the fire risks.
Q: Where should sanitiser dispensers be located?
Hand rub dispensers should not be placed above or close to potential sources of ignition, such as light switches and electrical outlets, or next to oxygen or other medical gas outlets, due to the increased risk of vapours igniting. 

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