- Antiseptics contain microorganisms which are effective to deter the development of bacteria, fungi and viruses. These can be applied on the skin outside the body.
- Disinfectants are stronger than antiseptics and kill bacteria, fungi and viruses. They are used for hards surfaces, floors and countertops and are very effective in keeping them free from COVID-19.
- Antibacterials can also be applied on skin on the outside of the body. It is important to understand that they are active against bacteria, not viruses. This chemical agent is commonly found in soaps and alcohol sprays.
Using hand sanitiser with 60-95% alcohol effectively reduces the number of pathogens that may be present on your hands after brief interactions with the environment, or other people. Most alcohol-based hand sanitisers are effective at inactivating enveloped viruses, including COVID-19. Hand sanitiser is often a much faster and easier alternative to hand washing, if the facilities are not available, and if used properly, it will kill viruses .
Hand sanitisers containing alcohol should be stored in a cool place, and out of direct sunlight. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are also generally flammable, especially if their alcohol content is high (>60%), so keep the sanitiser away from open flames.
While in previous normal circumstances overusing hand sanitisers was not recommended, this is not the case during a pandemic. In this situation the importance of keeping hands constantly clean to avoid getting sick and spreading the virus is crucial!
Hand sanitiser only lasts for a few minutes, and therefore it is important to apply it frequently!