hand sanitizerQuestion:  I see hand sanitizer dispensers everywhere I go, from the grocery store to the bank.  I have heard that you can “over use” this type of hand washing, is that true?

Answer:  The FDA supports the CDC’s recommendation to use plain soap and water to wash your hands.  When water is not readily available, a hand sanitizer may be a suitable alternative.

The FDA is concerned about hand sanitizer’s ingredients and is undertaking a review of active ingredients used in over-the-counter antiseptic hand wash products.  They are also looking at the safety and effectiveness of the different brands.  There is growing concerns about the health risks of absorbing the anti-germ ingredients of ethanol, alcohol and a type of chloride into your body after repeated daily use.

Regulators are also concerned about possible links between use of antiseptic chemicals and the emergence of superbug bacteria, which are resistant to antibiotics.  Go to this link to see the FDA’s option of hand sanitizers.

To answer your question, skip the hand sanitizer dispensers and purell tubes and head to the closest sink.  Soap and water is not harmful and is the most effective way to prevent the spread of infection.