Soap or alcohol gel: which is better to disinfect hands

For the past couple of weeks, everyone in the world has come together for the same purpose: to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This virus that in a few months spread throughout the world and that has caused the death of thousands of people, has forced us to make a drastic change in the way we act.

Although there are still some doubts about the coronavirus, there are some certainties that will be very useful for us to take care of our health and that of our loved ones:

– You have to maintain social distance, avoid contact greetings and speak closely

– Stay home if an outbreak starts in the area

– Avoid touching your face

– Wash hands with soap and water every 2 or 3 hours, or clean them with 70% alcohol gel.

But, when to use each one?

Soap vs. Gel alcohol

Given the recommendations of the specialists and the WHO, to wash hands whenever possible and use alcohol gel, some confusion has been created in the population. Gel alcohol is a well-known antiseptic product that everyone trusts for its recognized benefits.

However, in the context of the crisis that has been created due to the spread of the coronavirus and the indications to reduce the probability of contagion, soap has been shown to be the most effective product.

The reason why it is much more advisable to wash your hands with soap and water than any other method lies in the composition of the virus. COVID-19 has a lipid membrane that protects it, favoring it to maintain its structure. By attacking this fat layer of the virus, it breaks down, to put it simply.

The most effective product to break down the lipid membrane of COVID-19 is soap. The proper way is to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, every 2 to 3 hours. Although the use of alcohol gel is not contraindicated and may be a complement to care, soap should be preferred.

Also, soap is much less abrasive to the skin. Thus, it is possible to protect oneself from contagion while taking care of the skin.

When to use Alcohol in Gel?

Gel alcohol is also a product that can be used to fight this virus. Its use is recommended when you need to clean your hands and there is no possibility of washing them with soap and water. This means that it is a substitute for traditional hand washing.

The constant use of alcohol on the hands can cause weakening of the skin of the hands, since it is a very strong product. It should be used for the sanitization of surfaces with which we are in constant contact and that can be contaminated such as mobile phones, debit and credit cards, and other objects for personal use.

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