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Hand Washing Best Practices


How to Wash Your Hands Like a Doctor

The COVID-19 crisis has emphasized that hand washing is essential to keeping us safe.
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Kautilya Shaurya from Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City demonstrates how to wash your hands to protect from COVID-19.

Step 1: Turn water on and use a lukewarm temperature

Step 2: Pump soap into hands

Step 3: Work hands into lather for at least a minute

Step 4: Work soap onto palms, in between fingers and backs of hands

Step 5: Make sure you’re lathering underneath fingernails

Step 6: Once done with 60 seconds, run hands underwater and let water drift towards palms of hands, to carry off all the dirt you just worked off

Step 7: Dry hands with clean paper towel

Step 8: Use paper towel to turn sink off

Step 9: Moisturize hands while still damp.


How to treat dry hands at home: Tips from the American Academy of Dermatology

The COVID-19 crisis has emphasized that hand washing is essential to keeping us safe.
Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Kautilya Shaurya from Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City demonstrates how to wash your hands to protect from COVID-19.

  • Use lukewarm water
  • Moisturize immediately after washing your hands
  • Use moisturizers with mineral oil or petroleum that is fragrance-free and dye free.
  • When soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer
  • Continue washing your hands, even if they feel dry. Washing your hands removes harmful bacteria and viruses.

Good to know: Using moisturizer after washing your hands does NOT negate your hand-washing efforts and there is NO evidence that using hand sanitizer makes you more vulnerable to infections or viruses.


Dr. Rachel Nazarian answers the question of bar soap vs liquid soap.

Is it sensible to wash your hands with bar soap during coronavirus?

Technically speaking, bars of soap can harbor bacteria and viruses, but these organisms are washed away as soon as you combine the soap with water and lather. The surfactants in the soap in combination with water help to lift the bacteria and the viruses off, remove them from our skin and wash them down the drain. As long as whomever is using the soap uses it properly, by lathering with water for at least 20 seconds, the risk of contamination or infection is low.

Is bar soap as effective and hygienic as antibacterial/liquid hand soap?

Bar soap is as equally effective as antibacterial soaps or liquid soaps, and hygienic. In order to keep your soap and surrounding area as clean as possible, I recommend using a soap dish that is non-porous, and keeping your soap dry in between showers. For someone who is immunosuppressed, or worried about even the slightest risk of contamination with bacteria or viruses, the most effective way to avoid sources of germs would be a non-touch soap dispenser that responds to movement before dispensing liquid soap. For everyone else, either liquid soap or a bar of soap is perfectly appropriate and low risk.


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