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Dr. Tarun Virmani
Associate Professor
School of Pharmaceutical Sciences
MVN University, Palwal( Haryana)

Indian Government has been advising people to wash hands with soap or sanitizer since the beginning after the outbreak of the deadly corona virus. To avoid corona, some people believe that hand sanitizer is better than soap. It is very important to have a bacteria free hand to avoid corona virus. Not only that, experts believe that the risk of viruses can be reduced by washing your hands periodically with soap or using hand sanitizer. People are stocking up on hand sanitizer but soap and water is the gold standard for preventing disease.

The new coronavirus comes encased in a layer of fat, or lipid envelope, which soap can break apart, making you less likely to get infected. The humble act of washing with soap and water, followed by drying with a clean towel is the gold standard. "Hand washing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain. The drying that follows makes the skin less hospitable to the bacteria and viruses that can make us sick. If you have to stop the entry of corona virus, you should use soap instead of sanitizer. Soap contains fat-like substances known as amphiphiles, which are similar to the lipids in the virus' envelope. These amphiphiles compete with the lipids in the virus envelope and deactivate the virus.  Soap has the ability to kill the lipids present in the virus faster than the sanitizer because soaps contain elements like fatty acids and salt. These elements hidden in soap completely neutralize the outer layer of the virus.

Both hand sanitizer and soap have the able properties to kill the virus. Hand sanitizer should only be an option when you don't have access to a sink. Hand sanitizers with an alcohol content that is greater than 70% can also destroy these lipid membranes. But they are ineffective against non-enveloped viruses, like norovirus and rhinovirus, which are variations of the common cold & they provide none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together and rinsing provides.  Most of us touch the mouth several times a day, in such a situation, it is very important to eliminate the root of the virus. Sanitizer will prepare you to fight the virus, but soap is the best option to root it out. If you come from the toilet or from outside and wash your hands with simple water is a very wrong way because the virus is sticky, which does not go only after washing hands with water. So, whenever you come from outside or touch something, wash your hands with soap. Soap contains substances such as fatty acids and salt that are more capable of fighting viruses.

You may have realized many times that your skin has become a little dry by washing your hands with soap. In fact, it is because soaps go deep enough to kill germs. The hand sanitizer only cleans the hand deeply, it is not so effective in eliminating germs from the root.

According to a research by John Hopkins University, sanitizer is not as effective as soap in fighting corona virus. To fight the corona virus, only the sanitizer will work which will have a higher alcohol content. In addition, the soap used in homes is more effective than the sanitizer. To wash your hands, lather them with soap and scrub for at least 20 seconds. Make sure to focus on places people tend to forget; the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails, where microbes tend to build up. Rinse under clean running water and dry with a clean towel, as germs can easily be transferred to and from wet hands.

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