It is easy to assume that if you are washing with an antibacterial hand wash that you are preventing the possibility that you will spread viruses like colds, flu and skin infections among family members, at work, at sporting practices; but that just is not true. Antibacterial soap cannot protect you from viral infections according to researchers.
It does not mean that washing hands and good personal hygiene isn’t important to your health, it is. All the researchers are saying is that when you are washing with antibacterial soap, it is doing no more than regular soap can do to help safeguard you against viral infections including those that you can get on your skin. Antibacterial products are not intended to be effective against viruses. Studies have not proven the effectiveness of these special soaps as of yet.
Some viral infections are spread by minor injuries to the skin and are spread when the virus is picked up on surfaces and then contact is made with the open skin wound. Healthcare workers are susceptible to viral skin infections if they fail to protect their hands with gloves and handwashing.
Viral skin infections can also be spread from skin to skin contact such as direct contact among sports players and nursing baby who has mouth sores and the breastfeeding mom contracting a breast infection.
After the initial viral infection, if immunity is deficient, recurrent infections can occur such as with cold sores.
One way to prevent the spread of viral skin infection is to recognize others who have them and avoid if possible contact with the infection.
One highly contagious viral skin infection, Impetigo, can be avoided if others recognize the infection and then take the following steps to avoid the spread of it:
Do not share items of clothing, personal items like hand/bath/washcloth towels with the infected individual
Do not share bed linens like pillows, sheets, and blankets with an individual with impetigo.
Children with active impetigo infections should be kept out of schools and childcare settings until the infection completely heals to help prevent the spread of the infection to other children.
General Protection Guidelines
Avoiding those who are ill with viruses including colds, and the flu
When you have a viral infection, stay home from work, school etc., so that you can rest and so that you do not pass the viral infection on to others.
Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
Wash your hands frequently, especially before meals, after cleaning up after a soiled child, after tending to someone who is ill, and after handling a wound, or after taking out the garbage.
Try to avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth because viruses are often spread this way.
If you body is healthy it can better fight off viral attacks. Keeping your body healthy includes getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, drinking plenty of water and also eating nutritious meals and snacks.