Did you know that the number of microbes in a dirty hand is greater than the number of people across the planet? Enough, is not it? But before you get scared, know that not all of them are harmful. On the contrary. In the #Etips chat this week Dr. Bactéria told us everything we need to know about hand hygiene. And we warn you: leave the neuroses and radicalism aside.

To begin with, it explains that bacteria are part of the human body. Although we associate that word with diseases, infections and bad things for the skin and for health, they are not always linked to it. A part of the bacteria found in our body are the so-called “residents”. That is, they are part of the organism. And not only are they part of how they are super important because they have the role of protecting us from infection and disease.

But at the same time there are also the bacteria known as “transient”. They do not live in our bodies, they just come in the way and these can bring problems. This type comes to us through daily contact with the world around us: it comes from money, from raw meat, from shaking hands with other people, from sneezing, from holding onto the bus, from touching public places, from squeezing the lift button, push supermarket cart … It is with the bacteria that come from these places that we must worry, after all are they that can transmit diseases and bring complications to our health.

And what is the best way to avoid it? This is what we learn from childhood: washing our hands frequently and bathing daily. But before you run into the bathroom and get underwater, look closely at what Dr. Bacteria has to say. Here we advance the subject a little, but in the video it counts more.

Hygienic routine
The basics one knows best: always wash your hands when they are dirty, before eating, before holding a baby, when you arrive from the street, before using the bathroom … Wait, before using the toilet? That’s it! We are used to washing afterwards, but before is also super important. That’s because when we use the bathroom, we are in contact with our intimate parts, which are very fragile and delicate. By these characteristics, they are more susceptible to infections than any other parts of the body. So getting close to them with dirty hands is not the way to go. Now you know: water and soap before (for your own hygiene and care), and then (out of respect for others you meet next).

But it does not have to be with neurosis and full of manias and worries because the exaggeration in this case also does not do anything well. Dr. Bacteria brought us numbers: When we wash our hands more than eight times a day, we tend to decrease the amount of these transient bacteria that can be harmful. So it’s ok! However, if this number increases to more than 25 times, then the opposite effect is achieved. From washing so much, the bacteria tend to grow and proliferate. After all, you are using chemical (the soap) and this, in excess, decreases the resistance of the skin and, consequently, the good bacteria. Then note: the ideal is to wash your hands between eight and 25 times a day. Neither more nor less.

The same reasoning can be used with the bath. Dr. Bacteria says to take an official bath a day, that is, one complete with soap and shampoo. Those that go beyond this already begin to take away the resident bacteria, which are important for our protection. Very hot? Go for the shower, but contented aqpenas with the water.

And when you’re on the street and away from the bathroom, a good alternative is to have the alcohol gel. It is not as effective as sabonte, but is a super partner in emergencies. To get an idea, alcohol gel reduces the risk of bacterial contamination by 80-85%, against a 92% efficacy when washing hands with soap.

Are you going to use a sponge? Okay, but it’s not worth sharing with anyone, okay? Each one must have his own, however intimate the relationship may be. And also remember to change monthly, because the moisture that stays in the sponge helps to accumulate and proliferate the germs.

And when we use public restrooms or other people’s restrooms, it is normal to have that flea behind the ear: is it okay to use bar soap that is exposed and wet in the sink and used by others? You can rest easy and use it normally. According to Dr. Bacteria, soap has bacteriostatic substances, that is, it does not accumulate bacteria from people who have used it before. Something kind of self-cleaning, you know?

The right way
We have already told in other matters that most people do not spend 10 seconds washing their hands, but the ideal is 20 seconds, at least, paying attention to all parties (these data are from the National Agency of Sanitary Surveillance – Anvisa, do Brazil).

And you have the right way to wash your hands so it’s really effective. And do not worry, it will not be long, after all it’s just a matter of course.

Here are the main guidelines of the Brazilian Ministry of Health so that this hygiene can be done in the best way: after watering your hands with water and applying the soap, rub each other: palm with palm, back with palm, fingers. Interlace your fingers and rub the space between them (this is a part that is usually forgotten). Rinse and dry normally.

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