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Did you know that one of the most effective ways of avoiding coughs, colds and other illnesses really is as simple as washing your hands?

Taking small, simple steps to protect the wellness of ourselves, our families, and our wider communities makes perfect sense – especially if you’re one of the growing number of people managing a long-term illness, such as asthma or diabetes. At a time when seasonal viruses and bugs, which can often aggravate these conditions, are on the rise, it’s never been more important to clean our hands effectively.

Although we have been repeatedly told about the importance of hand hygiene over the past few years, not all of us practise it as often or as thoroughly as we should. As a specialist in skin and surface hygiene, and long-term partner to the NHS, we at PURELL® know a thing or two about the psychology of hand hygiene and it’s our mission to make the act second nature to everyone!

Care for sensitive skin

One of the most common barriers to hand hygiene is the fear that the soap or sanitiser will cause irritation or aggravate an existing condition, like eczema, an inflammatory skin condition which often affects those with asthma too.  At home, choose a gentle soap that is enriched with nourishing agents. Make sure to rinse thoroughly to ensure no soap residue remains, as this can contribute to skin damage. After drying, finish the process with a moisturising lotion to rehydrate and replenish oils in the skin.

As an additional layer of germ protection or if you’re off in the great outdoors, using a hand sanitiser is an ideal solution. Contrary to popular myth, this can be a friendlier choice for skin than soap and water too.

However, be sure to choose a high-quality product. After all, nobody wants to clean their hands with sticky, smelly products! PURELL Advanced Hygienic Hand Rub is used daily by doctors, nurses and patients across the NHS and is clinical proven to kill germs and maintain skin condition.

When and where?

As well as after using the washroom or preparing/eating food, hands should be cleaned whenever you come into contact with something that could potentially harbour bacteria. Think surfaces that many people may have touched, like doorknobs or shopping trolleys.

Make sure you keep a bottle of quality hand sanitiser with you too – in your bag or in the car, so you always have it when you need it. Killing germs that have transferred to your hands can make a huge difference in protecting your wellbeing, helping you, and your entire family, to stay healthy. For more advice, please check with your friendly pharmacist.