Here’s What Hand Sanitizer Could Be Doing To Your Hands

Photo: Getty Images/Javier Zayas Photography

So through these crazy times, we've been using a lot more hand sanitizer. But is it actually hurting you? What happens if you use too much of it? There have even been some stories out that companies are trying to make them taste worse because people stuck in their houses were actually drinking it. So what could happen (If you're using it the way you should) if you over use it? Check this out.

  • Using it every day can disrupt your microbiome– It’s good at killing microbes, but sometimes possiblytoogood, in that it could be killing those that are beneficial for keeping our bodily functions in order. That’s why it shouldn’t take the place of actually washing hands.
  • It can create stronger bacteria– Another argument for not using it every day, using hand sanitizer with antibacterial ingredients could help the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 
  • You can still get sick using hand sanitizer every day– While it is a good alternative if you are unable to wash your hands, it isn’t perfect, and it doesn’t necessarily protect you against catching something.
  • Using hand sanitizer every day will dry out your hands– We are all probably experiencing this now. It’s because the alcohol in sanitizer is what’s drying out your skin.
  • Your hands can become irritated– Using sanitizer every day can cause chronic irritation, skin breakdown and other damage.
  • It can ruin your manicure– It won’t take off the polish, but it will break it down, making it susceptible to chips.
  • You won’t get intoxicated– Sure it has alcohol, and can smell pretty strong, but the amount absorbed in your skin isn’t enough to affect your blood-alcohol content.
  • It may impair your muscles– At least one study has shown that the ingredient triclosan, which many sanitizers have, can prevent muscular contraction just 10 to 20 minutes after exposure, reducing grip strength and heart function in mice. 

Well, using hand sanitizer every day can have some side effects you may want to be wary of, so, again, stick to washing mostly.