Using hand disinfectant has been found to be a skin-friendly, quick and effective way to prevent contact transmissions.¹ Ethanol-based hand disinfectants have a quick effect on different kinds of microbes. Ethanol destroys bacteria, yeast, mould and most viruses. Bacterial endospores and non-enveloped viruses make an exception, because ethanol as such is not effective on these.¹ Nowadays, as a result of innovative product development, hand disinfectants that are proven to be effective also on non-enveloped viruses (e.g. norovirus) are available, such as Berner’s LV Hand Disinfectant.
Previously, prevention of contact transmissions has been attempted by washing hands with soap and water, which is very damaging for the skin when done repeatedly. Dry and rough skin caused by constant washing is problematic when it comes to preventing infections, because temporary microbiota grips to damaged skin easily and it is not as easy to destroy on damaged skin as it is on healthy skin. This is why washing hands with soap and water is nowadays recommended only for visibly dirty skin, after going to the bathroom and in connection with Clostridium difficile or norovirus infections.