Sanitiser or soap & water: SC Johnson Professional on best practice

Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs) remain a persistent threat for patient safety as well as hospital reputation. According to skin care experts SC Johnson Professional, correct hand hygiene is one of the best ways to help prevent the spread of pathogens; 80% of all infections are transmitted by the hands.

This spread can ultimately lead to HCAIs – various activities undertaken by healthcare professionals expose the hands to potentially harmful bacteria on a daily basis. But what is the best method – hand sanitiser or soap and water? SC Johnson Professional run through their advice.

Best practice

Healthcare workers should be equipped to perform hand hygiene events correctly and at the right time. However, the recommended method depends on a range of factors, including the given situation and the level of soiling.

Firstly, if the hands are visibly soiled, for example after coming into contact with blood or other body fluids, they should be thoroughly washed with soap and water. This advice also applies after using the toilet.

If the hands are not visibly soiled, however, healthcare workers should clean the hands with an alcohol-based hand sanitiser; this method is recommended by the World Health Organisation as it is faster and more effective. Sanitisers are often better tolerated by the skin than repeated handwashing; as hand hygiene events are required frequently in healthcare settings, over-reliance on solely soap and water can lead to poor skin health and thus the risk of further infection.

In order to keep the skin in good condition, therefore, best practice for those in healthcare is a dual usage of both sanitiser and soap and water, selecting the right product at the right time. Moisturising creams are also important here; these should be regularly applied after each wash and at breaks to keep the skin healthy, something which is crucial to avoid a potential future infection.

Foam Hand Sanitiser

A highly effective hand sanitiser preferred by 84% of users. Ideal for use in all environments where a high level of hand hygiene is vital, the sanitiser rapidly and easily rubs across hands killing 99.999% of many common germs in just 30 seconds. Fully tested and proven to be bactericidal (EN1500, EN1276, EN13727), virucidal (EN14476), yeasticidal (EN13624, EN1650) and mycobactericidal (EN14348).

Gel Hand Sanitiser

A highly effective gel-based sanitiser, a quality alternative for those who prefer the format. The smooth gel is extremely pleasant for frequent use, and the clinically proven skin friendly formula encourages maximum compliance due to the moisturising agents glycerine and panthenol. Fully tested and proven to be bactericidal (EN1500, EN1276, EN13727), virucidal (EN14476), yeasticidal (EN13624, EN1650) and mycobactericidal (EN14348).

Alcohol Free Foam Hand Sanitiser

The World Health Organisation recommends alcohol-based hand sanitisers as the preferred method of hand sanitisation, however, for environments where alcohol is not preferred our alcohol free hand sanitiser provides an effective alternative. Killing 99.99% of many common germs and viruses, the sanitiser is proven not to dry hands after use, and is fully tested and proven to be bactericidal (EN1500, EN1276, EN13727), virucidal (EN14476, virucidal against all enveloped viruses) and yeasticidal (EN13624, EN1650).

For more information on SC Johnson Professional’s products for use in healthcare, head to & good hand washing&utm_content=HEA035


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