Germaphobes Should Be Wary of Hand Sanitizer

posted by Kristina Kage -

Go to any large, public place—be it an airport, classroom, or mall—and chances are high you'll find a hand sanitizer station somewhere. It might seem like a good move to squirt a pump or two into your hands and obliterate any and all germs, but now experts are arguing the opposite, GQ reports.

 First off, hand sanitizer actually reduces some of the good bacteria that our bodies need. Dirt isn't actually harmful and, if you overuse hand sanitizer, the alcohol in it will dry out your hands and potentially give you eczema. As for claims that it prevents the flu, that, too, has been debunked: Not only can flu viruses survive on hard surfaces for up to 24 hours, but that's not even the most common way you're likely to get sick. 

Most people contract the flu and other viruses by inhaling droplets in the air rather than touching contaminated surfaces. Granted, sterilizing one's hands is still important—especially in medical situations—but do you need to do it every hour of the day? Nope. 

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