Everyone seeks to improve their state of emergency preparedness. It feels good to always respond on time and in the right way when something happens. Some of the incidences that you may feel you need to prepare for are burns, falls and cuts. Since they are common accidents that happen at home and workplaces, most of the time, there is a need to know how to handle such emergencies.
But does sanitizer clean cuts? Yes, it can but it is painful and not recommended. That is because hand sanitizer contains various additives, such as alcohol, which kill cells that aid in healing wounds, hence slowing healing and resulting in a greater inflammatory response.
Using running water and soap is a better technique for cleaning wounds. Some people believe using ethanol, which is alcohol, in cuts is effective and justifiable. Individuals and societies all over the world defend using strange things on wounds.
Why Do People Put Sanitizer on a Cut?
You may reach out to the nearest sensible thing to either ease pain or simply out of impulse in the case of a cut. If the sanitizer is at the closest proximity, then that would make sense compared to the soap that is far. If the cut is shallow, then putting a sanitizer may not make a big difference. However, the sanitizer may cause significant damage to deep wounds if it alcohol-based.
There are other better ways of cleaning cuts that should be your first choice. But in the world where common knowledge and folk wisdom rules, most people ignore the implication of such acts. Unfortunately, this application often lacks understanding of science which may cause grave problems.
Though there is value in common knowledge and folk wisdom to some extent, always check your facts. Studies are always ongoing and new findings can come out. Sometimes the old information is just wrong and misleading.
Going to bed with wet hair, for example, cannot make you get a cold. Using a sanitizer on a cut may, therefore, seem like a wise idea to prevent infections and keep off bacteria from building up on the wound. While a sanitizer is great, it is just not for cuts. You can purchase a variety of sizes and quantities from Amazon.
Would a Hand Sanitizer Work for Cuts
Context matters. Overuse of sanitizer is blamed for many problems. Bacteria and viruses get stronger and thwart antibiotic efforts; hand sanitizers have antimicrobial which is different. It is almost impossible for bacteria to overpower antimicrobial like alcohol.
However, other ingredients in the hand sanitizers may cause problems. Things like dyes, scents, and other inclusions in hand sanitizers may pose harm to the wound.
Non-alcoholic based sanitizers contain Benzalkonium Chloride as one of the most common ingredients. This biocide used as a preservative is effective in the prevention and elimination of microbes. They also help as a fungicide. Benzalkonium Chloride is harmful if it comes in contact with the eyes, but may work well keep wounds clean and free from microbes and fungi.
Alcohol-based sanitizers work like regular soap and water on the cuts. Since the solution comprises at least 60% alcohol, the sanitizers get rid of bacteria, viruses, fungus and other contaminants you are likely to pick. They may effectively work to keep your wound from infections if no other problematic ingredients are present.
Though the studies are ongoing, triclosan – present in some hand sanitizers may contribute to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics. Other reports suggest that exposure to triclosan may result in thyroid problems and cancer, besides developing resistant bacteria strains. Hand sanitizers containing triclosan may, therefore, cause more harm than good on wounds.
Different sanitizers work in different ways. While sanitizing may work for other things, it can cause significant damage to human bodies which have softer surfaces. Itching and pain is not always a sign of healing as people in the past believed. Others believe that the effectiveness of the medicine is measured by its taste, and solutions with bad taste are more effective.
If a hand sanitizer makes you itch, causes you pain, or any inflammation on a cut, check with a health practitioner.
How to Clean and Care for a Cut without Using a Hand Sanitizer
The first step in cleaning and caring for a wound is to stop the bleeding. Applying pressure on the part is one of the most effective and proven ways to do it. After the bleeding stops, use a non-damaging cleanser to clean the cut and bandage with sterile bandages. Deep cuts that run to the bone may, however, need stitches.
Water and soap are one of the old and effective ways of cleaning a wound. It works well with the use of mild soap. It is, therefore, a great way to keep a wound clean without further damage and minimal irritation.
A mixture of saline and Benzalkonium Chloride is effective in the treatment of minor injuries and small cuts (Amazon conveniently sells packets you can purchase). Salt is worth considering when cleaning and in the treatment of a cut at home. It is easily available, and though it may sting, it does not burn tissues like alcohol. Dilute it in water as it is not advisable to use plain salt directly on a cut.
While using a saline solution on any cut may hurt, it is not harmful. The hurt may also not be from the solution but the wound. However, all the natural remedies of cleaning a wound mentioned here are safe methods of caring for a cut.
Can One Make a Hand Sanitizer Safe to Use on Cuts?
Interestingly, you can make a solution that is safe and as effective as the hand sanitizers you find on the stores. Get pure alcohol like ethanol or isopropyl, or clean water. Add substitute vinegar if needed and if you do not mind the smell that lingers on.
Pour your solution into a clean bottle and add a few drops of natural oils that have germ-fighting effects. Oils like lime oil, lavender oil, tea tree oil, and lemon oil are some of the common and easy to find. This homemade hand sanitizer is free of any additive chemicals and safe to use on small cuts.
Most people believe at least one or a few unreasonable and untrue things. Hand sanitizers can heal cuts is one of the many blanket assumptions that people believe. It is; however, crucial to mention that the ingredient used to make the hand sanitizers and the depth of the cut are major things to consider. It is easy to find yourself wiping alcohol and sanitizers into a cut with no much thought.
You may put a hand sanitizer in a cut if the ingredients used are safe and the wound is not deep. The alcohol content in hand sanitizers will cause pain and itching in some cases, but keep away bacteria and other harmful things from the wound. However, do not use hand sanitizers for treatment purposes.
Homemade hand sanitizers may not only be cheaper, but safer to use. There is however no major recorded incident where using a hand sanitizer on a cut resulted to major harm. Though studies are ongoing, none is conclusive. One can, therefore, get away with using the sanitizers on small fresh cuts.
A hand sanitizer may also do more harm to an infected or septic cut where an antibiotic is needed.
While a hand sanitizer may be easily reachable in a household, it is better to go for soap and clean running better. This alternative is not only less harmful, it is also cheap in the long run. Do not rush to apply hand sanitizer because the consequences are dire. You may take it as a convenience, but it is actually not worth it. Treat your cut carefully, and you will have less to worry about.