Avoid ethyl and isopropyl alcohol!
High-percentage ethyl and isopropyl alcohol are most often used to disinfect the skin. However, it is not a safe decontamination method. WHO strongly advises against disinfecting the body with alcohol and chlorine. Alcohol strongly dries the skin and may cause irritation or more severe adverse reactions. It is extremely dangerous, especially in contact with mucous membranes (eyes, mouth, nose). Therefore, we should absolutely avoid rubbing pure high-percentage alcohol into our hands.
The big disadvantage of alcohol is its very short action time - only 15 seconds! After this time, all kinds of microorganisms develop on our skin again and have a much more aggressive effect on it, because additionally alcohols degrade the skin's protective barrier.
Therefore, it is worth using a skin-friendly disinfection based on substances that give a much longer protection time - up to four hours for viruses and up to eight hours for bacteria! This largely contributes to disease prevention and is an excellent infectious prophylaxis.
It is extremely important that these substances do not damage the skin's protective barrier, do not dry it, which makes them more effective than ethyl or isopropyl alcohol.
When buying disinfectants, look for QAC compounds in their composition - quaternary ammonium compounds.
The structure of QAC resembles phospholipids that form cell membranes and the viral envelope. They have a positively charged hydrophilic (water-loving) "head" and a hydrophobic (water-disliking) "tail". Due to such structure, they can, inter alia, "replace" phospholipids in the membrane, breaking its continuity. This property makes QACs antiseptic. QAC salts penetrate the membrane of the pathogen, pretending to be a lipid. The membranes are perforated or thinned, resulting in the death of the bacterial cell or viral particle.
QAC compounds include:
✘ Didecyldimethylammonium chloride (DDAC)
✘ Benzethonlum chloride (BEC, BEK, BEN, BTC).