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Indianapolis, IN, United States, 2005/11/28 - The threat of unrestrained viruses invading our personal space makes these frightening times. There is a simple and widely available defense, proper handwashing - AuntAnnsGardenSoap.com.
Study after study indicates the best way to control the spread of disease is by simply washing your hands on a regular basis. But, effective hand washing is not that simple. Effective hand washing requires that your hands are really wet before applying soap. Then, for about 10 seconds your hands must be thoroughly lathered away from the running water, especially under the fingernails. Your hands should be thoroughly rinsed underneath warm water without allowing the water to run toward your elbows. Finally, a paper towel should be used to turn off the water and discarded; a clean dry towel should then be used to dry your hands.
Why go through all this?
There are several good reasons. Surprisingly, if you washed your hands with dirt and water your hands would be cleaner than if you washed them with water alone. Effective hand washing is not a function of merely rinsing off the germs. It’s a mechanical operation. You have to dislodge them and rinse them off.
By now, we have all heard of the impending pandemic. The latest specter on the horizon is the avian or “bird” flu. We live in hermetically sealed toe-to-toe environments. Exposure to something is probable. Vaccines are developed after the fact. For some, after the fact is soon enough but do you want to risk being in front of the curve for the next big thing? The spread of e-coli has no vaccine buffer. Everyday our world gets smaller and smaller and the harmful strains of bacteria and viruses, known and unknown, get closer to our everyday existence. The best line of defense in this great age of technological advances is washing your hands.
Especially in the winter months, frequent hand washing can bring its own set of challenges. Frequent hand washers often experience skin that is corrupted and more susceptible to invasion by pathogens because it is dry, chapped or cracked. Few people have the time or inclination to both frequently wash their hands and then moisturize for a number of practical reasons. Aunt Ann’s Garden Soap, based in Indiana, recommends using soap with a high glycerin content as well as other humectants that will draw moisture into the superficial layer of the skin. Selecting a soap that leaves a residue behind defeats the purpose of hand washing. Making a thoughtful soap selection ahead of time can increase hand-washing efficacy as well as save the effort and expense of a separate application of moisturizer.
It is commonly said in the marketing materials of larger companies that manufacture “cleansers” that soap dries the skin. That is true of most of the larger soap manufacturers because they remove the beneficial glycerin that is created during the soap making process and use it for other products. Consumers must become more aware of the nature of the ingredients they are using on their skin. With appropriate product selection it is possible to maintain a reasonable standard of hygiene without compromising the integrity of the body’s first line of defense, the skin.