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Hand Sanitizers: Pros and Cons


The increase in medical conditions has negatively affected the quality of life and wellbeing of the population due to their effects. This is because medical conditions reduce life expectancy and compel individuals to seek quality care to overcome them effectively. One of the fundamental topics related to medical conditions is the use of hand sanitizers. A hand sanitizer is usually applied to eradicate common pathogens, particularly disease-causing organisms (Golin et al., 2020). The paper analyzes the pros and cons of using hand sanitizers.

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Pros of Hand Sanitizers

Hand sanitizers help in killing germs, thus reducing the probability of getting sick. The sanitizers have antimicrobial compounds such as benzalkonium chloride, which is effective in killing bacteria. According to Golin et al. (2020), most antimicrobial compounds can kill nearly 99.9% of disease-causing organisms, making it easy to avoid most deadly diseases like COVID-19 and diarrhea. This makes sanitizers highly effective and appropriate for controlling most pathogens. Hand sanitizers also assist in overcoming antimicrobial resistance on the hands, which may cause the continued occurrence of diseases (Golin et al., 2020). The ability of the sanitizers to prevent people from getting sick by killings bacteria, germs, and viruses keep them healthy and highly productive, hence avoiding unnecessary sick leaves. This further allows people to minimize their healthcare costs and invest their surplus earnings in other income-generating activities.

Hand sanitizers are highly portable, accessible, and cost-effective, features that make them better than washing hands. Sanitizers are packaged in different containers sizes to allow easy portability, especially for people who like traveling. This makes them easily accessible for use compared to water and soap, which may be hardly accessible, especially in remote areas (Golin et al., 2020). Most hand sanitizers are comparatively cheap, making them affordable to all individuals regardless of their income levels. The effectiveness of the sanitizers allows them to be used for a long time, hence preventing frequent purchases. As a result, applying hand sanitizers help individuals to keep high levels of hygiene and cleanliness, particularly in public areas where germs spread rapidly.

Cons of Hand Sanitizers

The continued use of hand sanitizers damages the skin leading to a possible emergence of other diseases. Most hand sanitizers contain high alcohol content than the recommended 60% level, thus ending up drying the skin (Jing et al., 2020). Companies are required to prepare sanitizers with the right alcohol content to avoid unnecessary customer complaints. The sanitizers with high alcohol content usually cause damage to the skin’s outer layers yielding sores and cracks that may be painful. Cracked and dry skin creates room for germs entry into the body leading to infections. This generates the need to wash hands by utilizing soap for at least 20 seconds to preserve skin cells (Jing et al., 2020). Soap molecules remove noncovalent forces that keep bacteria and viruses together and quickly eliminate microbes from the skin devoid of causing damage.

Hand sanitizers are considered ineffective as they fail to kill all germs and are also highly flammable, making them inapplicable in some situations. Most hand sanitizers are unable to eliminate germs such as norovirus and cryptosporidium, thus creating room for the emergence of some infections. The sanitizers are also ineffective if the hands are greasy and filthy, making them unable to kill germs and bacteria (Jing et al., 2020). Additionally, hand sanitizers that contain high alcohol volumes are flammable and may cause fire hazards leading to massive damages. As a result, hand sanitizers have limited use, preventing them from effectively control illness-causing organisms.


From a critical point of view, the pros of hand sanitizers overcome the associated cons; hence should be appropriately used to kill pathogens and improve the wellbeing of the people. This is because sanitizers have a high likelihood of eradicating pathogens through antimicrobial compounds and remain crucial when water and soap are not readily available. However, the correct levels of hand sanitizers should be applied when appropriate to avoid misuse and protect the skin. Additionally, hand sanitizers should be appropriately stored while also avoiding spillage to prevent fire hazards.


Golin, A. P., Choi, D., & Ghahary, A. (2020). Hand sanitizers: A review of ingredients, mechanisms of action, modes of delivery, and efficacy against coronaviruses. American Journal of Infection Control, 48(9), 1062-1067.

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Jing, J. L., Pei Yi, T., Bose, R. J., McCarthy, J. R., Tharmalingam, N., & Madheswaran, T. (2020). Hand sanitizers: A review on formulation aspects, adverse effects, and regulations. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(9), 1-17.

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