Hand washing is the most common hygiene habit of all and since we were very young, we grew up listening to our parents, or at school, the importance of this practice to avoid diseases and spread germs.
This is also suggested by the different Centers for Disease Control in the United States, which indicate that keeping our hands clean is "one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick."
However, during the last decade, other discourses have emerged that indicate that by disinfecting excessively we could reduce our natural resistance barrier to the bacteria that are needed. This is explained by some research and some experts in the subject.
In view of the above, it is worth asking, how often should we wash our hands and, if necessary, use disinfectant or not? To our good fortune, the American media HuffPost, talked to some people who specialize in this subject, who give different opinions about hand washing, but at the same time agree that we should not abuse the frequency.
For Richard Gallo, an academic and founder of the department of dermatology at the University of California at San Diego, for example, washing his hands every day will not leave him unprotected, but doing so in excess has risks. "What the science says is that the normal (healthy) bacteria that live on the skin are very important and the washing does not eliminate them, because when we are born it seems that the bacteria enter your skin and stay there to live forever, but if you start to exaggerate, your skin begins to dry out and this eliminates the healthy bacteria"He explains.
The ideal, then, is wash your hands every time you go to the bathroom when you return home after taking public transportation, using cash, etc. and a daily bath"
On the same line, Samer Blockmon, a specialist in internal medicine for the Georgia-based Piedmont health care system, says over-washing makes you vulnerable. "If you wash your hands too often, you will also be eliminating healthy fats and good bacteria that defend you from disease"He warns.
For example, when we use excess alcohol gel to disinfect our hands, our skin may crack and this opens the door to harmful bacteria.
How do I know if I'm washing my hands too much?
The most common signs, according to Gallo, are usually:
* Scaly skin
"Basically, if people wash their hands and look good, then they probably are not doing much"He added.
Let's clear up doubts: when should I wash my hands, yes or yes?
A study conducted by Michigan State University revealed that 95% of people do not wash their hands after going to the bathroom, which can certainly cause the spread of germs and bacteria that contribute to diseases.
In this context, William Schaffnera specialist in infectious diseases at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine,wash your hands with warm water and always use soap because it emulsifies the bacteria, wraps them around and carries them along the drain"
A curious fact? Karen Salmansohn, a wellness specialist, says singing "Happy Birthday" twice is enough time for this practice to last.
Blockmon also adds: "You should wash before meals and if you are sick and cough in your hands before and during meal preparation"
If you plan to touch your face or have sex, it is also advisable to wash your hands according to Susie Wang, a specialist in skin care.
Now, if you lean to pick up a pencil from the floor or slap your pet, nothing happens if you do not wash, after all, there are bacteria everywhere and we live with it all our lives.