Lathering up can also help protect against other kinds of health issues. College students who washed their hands regularly were sick less often and missed fewer classes than their peers who didn’t wash as often.The effect of hand hygiene on illness rate among students in university residence halls. White, C., Kolble, R., Carlson, R., et al. University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA. American Journal of Infection Control, 2003 Oct;31(6):364-70.. (So that’s a reason for the college crowd not to wash up, right?) And hand washing could even help prevent potential life-threatening diseases. A study of squatter neighborhoods in Pakistan found hand-washing reduced the incidence of illnesses like pneumonia and diarrhea 50 percentEffect of handwashing on child health: a randomised controlled trial. Luby, S.P., Agboatwalla, M., Feikin, D.R., et al. Division of Bacterial and Mycotic Diseases, National Centers for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. Lancet, 2005 Jul 16-22;366(9481):225-33..
Hand-washing can be a big factor in preventing sickness. A little soap and water gets rid of a lot of bacteria on hands, but antibacterial products might create resistant bacteria. Use moisturizer so hands don’t get dry and flaky from all that washing.
How often do you wash your hands? Which products do you use? Tell us in the comments below!