How Not to Get Sick

Get smart about cold and flu season with Dr. Roizen and Dr. Oz.

By Michael F. Roizen | M.D. and Mehmet C. Oz from Reader's Digest | February 2007

Q. Should I use those alcohol-based sanitizing lotions to wash my hands? I know they help kill germs, but they dry out my skin.

Protect your hands, and your body, with better hand hygiene.clipart.comProtect your hands, and your body, with better hand hygiene.
A. Your hands are the first line of defense when it comes to your health. Bacteria, viruses and even fungi can travel from someone else’s hand to an object, then to your hand, eyes, nose or mouth and thus your internal system, making you sick. You know hand washing is the best prevention. But when you wash a lot, your hands get dry, cracked and sore. And those tiny cracks make you even more vulnerable to germs. Protect your hands, and your body, with better hand hygiene. The Purell or Steris sanitizers that our hospitals use work even better than soap and water, in fact. We use them between patients to prevent the spread of germs. Some newer products you can find in the drugstore have a moisturizer to reduce drying. If you still have dry skin after use, add petroleum jelly at night and put on gloves to hold in the moisture.

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