The hand is probably the single greatest way in which germs and pathogens are spread from surface-to-surface and person-to-person.
Since the mid 1990s there are many buildings that have a dispenser at the door to encourage people to adopt “clean hands”. This is our first line of defense whenever there is an outbreak of disease.
Hygienic practice of washing the hands of surgeons prior to surgery was adopted in the mid 1800s; and patient survival increased. The application of hand sanitisers in consumer lifestyles is an extension of that premise that germs do not generally live in clean environments.
Most hand sanitisers are based on the direct application of >60% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol to the skin of both hands.
Unquestionably, this is effective in reducing the microbial load on one’s hands and the surfaces one touches immediately after use. However there is a body of concern around the re-application of alcohol to the skin and the likelihood that this will encourage skin cracking and create a health hazard, particularly to healthcare providers and first responders.
Other ingredients may be found in hand sanitizers including triclosan, chlorhexidine gluconate and others.
Microbide is developing a series of safe and effective formulations with lower alcohol content and ingredients that quench the skin to provide a “zone of exclusivity” against germs.