I do believe I’ve heard more about proper handwashing in the last 4 months than I have my entire life! Did you know there’s (at least) 10 diseases you can prevent with proper handwashing?
What Is Proper Handwashing?
All this time, I’ve washed my hands with plain soap (actually castile soap) and hot water. And plain soap and hot water are far more effective against germs and bacteria than alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Why? One reason is that soap kills the bad bacteria that can make you sick without killing the good bacteria that your body needs to keep your immune system happy.
With all the virus news scaring us half out of our wits, it’s more important than ever to wash all parts of your hands and for at least 20 seconds.
Not sure how? Here’s a cool video from YouTube.com:
10 Diseases You Can Prevent With Proper Handwashing
- Norovirus is the stomach flu. Norovirus is responsible for roughly 1 in 5 cases worldwide of acute gastroenteritis. The symptoms are miserable and gross: nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. And it’s very, very, very contagious. It takes only one particle to infect a human, compared to roughly 50 to 100 particles of flu virus.
- Influenza which is the flu that comes every year between (roughly) October and May. The flu can be deadly for those with a compromised immune system. Washing your hands prevents the spread of germs.
- PInkeye – I’ve had this one time and not only is it awful but it’s highly contagious. You rub your eyes, then touch something like a keyboard, door knob or spoon and the bacteria lives anywhere from several hours to several days.
- Mononucleosis also known as the kissing disease. Saliva is the main culprit here. Anything that your saliva has touched from kissing someone or coughing/sneezing into your hand will be contaminated.
- Staph infection. Healthy people have this bacteria on their skin and in their nose. But if that bacteria gets deep into your body and infects your blood, joints and heart, it can be deadly. It is highly resistant to antibiotics so washing your hands regularly lessens the risk of transmission.
- Heaptitis A. This strain doesn’t cause the chronic disease or damage like the B and C strains. But it makes you really sick with fever, fatigue and gastrointestinal problems. It commonly occurs when someone didn’t wash their hands after using the bathroom. (Ewww…)
- Strep throat. This is highly contagious from coughing and sneezing into your hand – or not covering your mouth at all. (Ewww…) The contaminated droplets sit on toilet handles, countertops and door knobs, not to mention the grocery cart handle. Another reason handwashing is so important!
- E. Coli. We usually hear about this from contaminated food. Interesting fun fact about E. Coli – you only need plain soap and water – either hot or cold – to kill the bacteria. Bonus points if you use hand lotion. Those who use hand lotion regularly have fewer bacteria on their hands than those who don’t use lotion.
- Rhinovirus also known as the common cold. A cold usually isn’t dangerous but you feel lousy for a week or so. Proper handwashing can lower your risk of a respiratory illness by 45%! (1)
- COVID-19. Yes that one. The one that’s turned our lives upside down. This new virus can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory failure and even death in some patients, especially the elderly and those with underlying health conditions such as diabetes or heart ailments.
Do you see why thorough handwashing makes such a difference? We wouldn’t have nearly as many cases of cold and flu if we would just do a better job of washing our hands.
So after thoroughly washing your hands, put some hand lotion on. It’ll keep your hands from drying out and you’ll have fewer germs to deal with.
The other thing you can do is boost your immune system. Pure essential oils are known to boost your immune system – that’s why I have Thievery Synergy Blend in both a roll-on bottle and a diffuser blend.
Please take a moment to share this post and “spread” the word about proper handwashing (and go wash your hands!).
Blessings and be well!