Personal Health

Disinfection of hands: Protects you from influenza and the common cold?

Quickly after hand washing or on the go, the hands disinfected, and already it feels to be on the safe side. Many people fall in the Winter, almost in a disinfecting frenzy. Often they will help, however only to a good feeling, because the common agents for hand disinfection does not kill all pathogens equally well.

Many funds continue to weaken, in the case of the common cold virus

A flu infection, for example, a classical common cold, occurs far more often than a flu (Influenza) and can also be quite a blow. Cause colds are usually a rhinovirus, and sometimes Cocksackie or adenoviruses. And it is precisely against this act many of the common disinfectants are not.

Effective against flu viruses

Reason for this is the structure of these viruses: In contrast to the other, you have no case. Against the usual cold viruses only in the medium, the spectrum of virucidal activity”, so viruses are specifically” damaging to help. Act means for disinfection of hands in most of the cases, effectively against influenza viruses, because these have a sheath and are therefore more sensitive.

In the case of hand disinfectants to distinguish different Wirkkategorien:

  • Limited spectrum of virucidal activity: The agent is effective against enveloped viruses (like flu viruses).
  • Limited virucidal plus: The agent is effective against enveloped viruses (like flu viruses), as well as against certain viruses without envelope (norovirus, rotavirus, adenovirus).
  • Virucidal activity: This means it is effective against viruses with and without envelope.

Only effective when used correctly

If you want to use hand sanitizer, it must, however, note a few things in order for funds to afford their service. Just briefly on the hands of distribute is usually sufficient notto kill off pathogens.

How to apply to means for disinfection of hands right?

Unless otherwise specified, should be the means to dry hands and distribute thoroughly on all areas of the Hand RUB (hand inner and outer surfaces, Finger, Finger spaces, finger tips, the nail fold). The medium should be at least 30 seconds to soak in. During this period of time should the hands from the Mediterranean completely moistened be.

Disinfection of hands after hand washing?

Often you can see in the cold time, also hand sanitizer in the washrooms at the washbasin stand. Immediately after the hands washing hands to disinfect, but it is not really useful. Because when washing the hands, and deposits itself in the short term, water in the outermost layer of the skin, which only after about eight to ten minutes evaporated is. Directly after hand-drying is applied, this water is used to dilute the disinfectant and reduce its effectiveness – or even makes it ineffective.

Hand disinfection is necessary at all?

A hand disinfection, according to the Federal centre for health education (BZgA) in private everyday life – at home or at work – only rarely necessary. Usually, it is sufficient in the flu and Cold season to wash regularly and long enough to the hands with soap and water. Who is the soap for 20 to 30 seconds between the hands and rubbed, kills 90 to 99 percent of all pathogens from.

Sense can a hand sanitizer, however, when …

  • … one with many sick people or with people who have a weakened immune system, for example, in the hospital, in health facilities or in the care of immune-compromised family members at home.
  • … you are on the move and the hands do not wash with soap can, for example, on a hike or traveling in countries without adequate hygiene facilities.


Hand disinfection – facts and information. Online information of Clean hands: (retrieval date: 9.1.2020)

Wash your hands. Online information from the Federal centre for health education: (retrieval date: 9.1.2020)

Why hand sanitizer does not protect mostly against the common cold. Online information of the German pharmacist’s newspaper: (status: 14.11.2017)

Info-Flyer to hand disinfection for patients and relatives. Online information of Clean hands: (as of 2015)

Robert Koch-Institut (Hg.): Aspects of compatibility with the skin, the skin protection and skin care. Epidemiological Bulletin, No. 18, P. 149-152 (2015)

For More Information

Onmeda-Reading Tips:

  • Hand washing: protection against infections
  • Cold time: With these tips, you can prevent infections

Link tip:

  • www.infektionsschutz.deWebsite the Federal centre for health education (BZgA) on the topic of infection prevention

Last content review: 10.01.2020last Modification: 28.01.2019

*The contribution of “disinfection of hands: Protects you from influenza and the common cold?” is published by Onmeda. Contact with the executives here.