Raise your hand if you’re lucky enough to own a bottle of hand sanitizer. Just one problem: There’s a good chance that hand is dry and cracked. As a result, hand sanitizers come with certain side effects that can affect your skin and more.
1. It Can Increase Your Risk of Eczema
Using a hand sanitizer can increase contact with irritants and allergens. This may increase the risk of hand dermatitis or eczema. Also, this commonly manifests on the skin with redness, dryness, cracks, and even blisters that cause itch or pain.
The Rx: Using a moisturizer, ideally containing mineral oil or petrolatum, can help prevent hand dermatitis. Then, individuals rub their hands together for about 15-30 seconds covering all surfaces with hand sanitizer until the hands are dry. Finally, apply a moisturizer
2. It Can Irritate Your Skin
The primary disinfecting ingredient in hand sanitizer formulas is ethyl or isopropyl alcohol. And they are formulated along with thickeners softeners and sometimes fragrances to curtail the strong smell of alcohol. Frequent use of it can cause skin irritation, or dry out the skin. If you have sensitive skin, the effects can be worse. So, the drying out is caused by alcohol.
The Rx: If you cannot minimize your hand sanitizer use, a good idea is to follow up with a moisturizing regimen. Lack of water content in the skin can lead to dry skin. content in the skin. Therefore, a moisturizer with humectants and occlusives is best. Occlusives help to create a film over the skin to hold the moisture in, help to attract water to the skin.
3. Some Affect Your Immune System
Triclosan also weakens the human immune function. The weakened immune system makes people more susceptible to allergies,” says Dr. Norris, a chartered physiotherapist and neurologist and Clinical Associate Professor at The University of California.
4. Some Can Impact Your Body Development
“A hand sanitizer that has too much fragrance could include with toxic chemicals like phthalates. Phthalates are endocrine disruptors that can affect human body development and reproduction. Parabens are chemicals that can negatively affect the functioning of hormones, fertility, birth outcomes, and reproductive development,” says Dr. Norris.
5. It Could Lead to Alcohol Poisoning
As many hand sanitizers contain very high levels of alcohol, doctors witness cases of alcohol poisoning when it’s imbibed. “Since hand sanitizers are easily available, there have been many cases globally where teenagers were hospitalized with alcohol poisoning from consuming hand sanitizer,” says Dr. Norris.
The Rx: Keep it away from your kids and educate your teens. Call 911 immediately if you swallow hand sanitizer.