Our hands are our most used body parts, something we do not remember always. We do not consider them important as much, but they are!
There are several things we do with the hands and these include: eating, taking our baths, holding things like our bags, and even things like touching – touching other people, furniture, walls, and every other thing. These things predispose us to several harmful microorganisms. However, they are inevitable activities. How then can we save ourselves from these harmful agents- these germs? First of all, let us discuss how we let these things inside our bodies.
1. Scratching the eyes: It is actually not a good ordeal to scratch one’s eyes with one’s hand. By so doing, we let germs into the eyes and these predispose us to diseases like, conjunctivitis (which could be caused by a herpes simplex virus contacted hand that was rubbed on the eyes), bacterial keratitis (which is caused by Staphylococcus aureus, an organism found “harmlessly” on the skin but is harmful when it enters inside the body – this is a case of opportunistic infections) and other infections.
2. Rubbing the face: Statistics have shown that rubbing the face with dirty hands causes both rashes and pimples plus other reactive diseases. This is because, by rubbing the face, we introduce more organisms, including the harmful ones, which will lead to the formation of the above-mentioned reactions.
3. Eating with dirty hands: We know this already, that eating with dirty hands predisposes us to several gastrointestinal infections. This is the reason most people eat food and few minutes to hours after the meal, they start having diarrhea or dysentery. These come with fever as well.
There are many other ways by which we infect ourselves through our hands, but the most interesting part of these is that there is an obvious link between the methods. One would ask what the link could be. It is simple – hygiene.
What then is hygiene? Simply put, it is the promotion of good health. These days, we get so engrossed to so many things that keep us in good health. Exercise for example, good food too, these are good ways of living a healthy life. Now the question is, are they the only ways? Certainly not. Why have we forgotten about hygiene? Most people think it is an act that is taught to just little children but it is a very good neccesity for good health. Arbitrarily, it is the basic, the most basic.
1. Washing of the hands: This remains the most important aspect of this issue and it cannot be overemphasized. Our environment is becoming more harmful to us. For example, people bleed accidentally and their blood spills on surfaces. Many people with hepatitis virus are asymptomatic. We visit so many places and we place our hands on several surfaces. Can we now imagine what will happen if we do not wash our hands? This scenario is for HBA virus. The same applies to bacteria and other microorganisms. So, we should wash our hands as often as possible. Especially when we come back from wherever we go to.
2. Avoid using the hands-on susceptible parts of the body: Things, like scratching the eyes, rubbing the face, touching open wounds, and so much more, should be put to check.
3. Cutting of the fingernails: Long fingers house dirt and everything associated with it. This statement is enough to propel you to cut your fingers and keep them neat. Do not bite, chew or eat your nails.
4. Using cloths in place of the hands: In cases like sneezing and coughing, we should learn to use small cloths or handkerchiefs in place of our hands. This prevents or reduces the spread of diseases.
Keeping a good hand hygiene actually solves about eighty percent of health issues.