There has been a boom in the hand sanitiser industry since the break out of COVID-19, and many businesses, like Holistic Incontinence, are now stocking sanitiser to help protect the community. But hand sanitiser is important in other areas of our lives, especially for those with incontinence. Today we are going to discuss why incontinence patients need to practice good hygiene and the importance of hand sanitiser.
Benefits of Hand Sanitiser
Studies have shown that the frequent use of hand sanitiser can lead to fewer respiratory infections and less antibiotic use. While handwashing and hand hygiene practices are incredibly important, hand sanitiser can help eliminate further bacteria. The use of hand sanitiser has shown lower rates of cold and flu infections, which is especially important among the elderly and the immune-compromised. And for those with mobility issues, hand sanitiser is often easier to use than hand washing which requires more time and effort.
Soap vs. Hand Sanitiser
With COVID-19 still at the forefront of everyone’s mind, there have been many debates as to whether hand sanitiser or hand washing is better.
Medical experts recommend that you need to wash for hands frequently, and for at least 20 seconds, to prevent the spread of novel coronavirus and other infectious diseases. Hand sanitiser, however, can help disinfect hands and surfaces. Further, hand sanitiser is effective in more clinical surroundings, like care homes, hospitals, aged care facilities, and homes as long as hands are not soiled or greasy.
As a result, it is not so much soap vs. hand sanitiser but using a combination of the two. Handwashing can help remove grease and dirt, and clean dirty hands, while hand sanitiser can help kill bacteria and illness-causing germs.
How Do I Properly Wash My Hands?
Medical professionals recommend the following handwashing steps to protect yourself and loved ones:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold)
- Apply soap
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap
- Ensure you scrub all surfaces of your hands, including palms, back of your hands, fingers, between your fingers, and under your nails
- You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds
- Rinse your hands under clean, running water that’s not too hot to tolerate
- Dry your hands with a clean towel or air dryer
- Apply hand sanitiser and wait until it dries before commencing any activities
When Should I Wash My Hands?
Good hand hygiene is incredibly important for those with incontinence. You need to maintain good hand hygiene throughout the day, including:
- Before eating food
- Before, during and after preparing food
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick
- After using the bathroom or changing incontinence products
- Before and after cleaning up after an incontinence accident
- After blowing your nose, sneezing, or coughing
- After touching an animal, animal food or treats, animal cages or animal waster
- If your hands are visibly dirty or greasy
- After touching garbage
Why Do People with Incontinence Need Good Hand Hygiene?
Washing and sanitising your hands, as we’ve seen, is important for everyone. You should always wash your hands after using the bathroom but for incontinence sufferers, it is important to wash and sanitiser your hands beforehand, too. With everything you touch throughout the say, you can easily transfer bacteria onto already sensitive and infection-prone areas of the body while you’re wiping, changing, or washing. Those with faecal incontinence need to be especially careful as accidentally transferring faecal matter to the urethra can result in bacterial infections, UTIs, and even kidney infections.
Maintaining Good Skincare with Incontinence
Good skincare, hygiene, and sanitising is important for those with incontinence and their carers. Urine and faeces can cause damage to the skin which is not only distressing and uncomfortable but also socially isolating. The areas most at risk of skin break down and infections are the anus, genitals, between the buttocks and the inner thighs. Unfortunately, damp, warm skin is unfortunately the best place for bacteria to start growing. This includes fungal infections and urinary tract infections.
Bladder or bowel leakage can cause inflammation, swelling, blisters, pain, dryness, flaking, and/or itching. The best treatment for skin problems is prevention. By maintaining proper hand hygiene, using soap and sanitiser, drinking plenty of fluids, preventing pressure injuries, talking with your doctor, and good nutrition, you can help prevent skincare issues.
Use the Right Sanitiser and Soap
Unfortunately, sometimes using plain soap and water can cause your skin more harm than good. Many soaps can dry out and irritate sensitive skin. This is why incontinence products suppliers, like Holistic Incontinence, provide a range of skincare options. You need to use special cleansers specifically designed for incontinence as they contain moisturiser and have been pH-balanced to reduce skin irritation. Holistic incontinence provides sanitiser, wipes, and urine cleaning sprays for furniture and clothing, to prevent the spread of bacteria.
Explore our range today to find out more.