Following the guidelines of the health agencies, many people have used 70% gel alcohol to prevent contamination by the new coronavirus.
The demand for the product increased dramatically in Brazil and made it ‘disappear’ from the shelves of supermarkets and pharmacies. So many people have been trying to find alternative ways to protect themselves – which, in addition to leaving the body exposed to the virus, can be a danger to the skin. This is what warns Dr. Fernanda Nichelle, a medical specialist in medical aesthetics.
“With the scarcity of alcohol gel 70% recommended for cleaning, other types of alcohol, such as isopropyl and 96C alcohol, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide have been wrongly used for the purpose of disinfection, causing risks not only to the safety of the population but also to the skin and patient health “, he says. “In addition to the risk of the flammable potential of other alcohols, burns, excessive dryness of the skin, hand fissures and allergies are the most common complaints from patients to their doctors.”
In addition to the ‘common’ alcohol and other substances mentioned by the doctor, there are still those who have been betting on homemade gel alcohol formulas that have been circulating on social networks. Dr. Fernanda says that making use of homemade products can result in serious problems, both for the skin and health in general.
“Stains, major burns and irreversible damage have also been reported [por pacientes]. If the product is not produced in an appropriate laboratory, by a trained professional, surely its effectiveness and amtimicrobial action will be compromised “, he highlights.
But, after all, what to do in the absence of alcohol gel? Only intensify hand washing with plenty of soap and water, recommends the doctor.
Here are some tips on how to wash your hands well:
- Wet your hands with clean running water (hot or cold), turn off the tap and lather your hands;
- Rub hands with soap until frothy.
- Rub the foam on the back of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
- Don’t forget your thumbs!
- Rub your hands for at least 20 seconds;
- Rinse hands thoroughly with clean running water;
- Dry them with a clean towel or even in the air;
- Hand washing must last at least 20 seconds.
What not to do if you run out of alcohol gel and you are no longer able to buy:
→ DO NOT use ‘ordinary’ alcohol (96.0%)
→ DO NOT use isopropyl alcohol
→ DO NOT use alcohol lighter gel for barbecue
→ DO NOT make homemade alcohol gel formulas.