Regardless of whether or not there is a Corona outbreak, we are always encouraged to wash hands. The aim is to prevent the transmission of dangerous diseases. However, when you wash your hands too often it is also not good for health. Instead of protecting the body from disease transmission, the habit of washing hands too often will only increase the risk of other health problems.
Wash your hands too often and their aftermath
As reported by the Mayo Clinic, there are times when you are required to wash your hands, such as before eating, when preparing food, when treating wounds, using and removing contact lenses, and when hands look dirty.
You are also advised to wash your hands after using the toilet, coughing, sneezing, changing diapers, caring for the sick, and touching pets. Although it may be done every day, remember not to over-wash your hands so as not to trigger the following side effects.
1. Makes it easier to get sick
When you wash your hands too often, the balance of bacteria in your body can be chaotic. According to Samer Blackmon, M.D., a specialist in internal medicine in the United States, this activity will actually kill beneficial bacteria that build the immune system.
When we are still children, our bodies are exposed to a variety of bacteria, viruses, and parasites. This condition provides benefits to strengthen the immune system. If our bodies have never been exposed to a variety of bacteria, viruses, and parasites, the immune system cannot fight the germs.
This is because the immune system has never known the most common microbe that causes disease. Without these microbes, immune cells cannot make antibodies or other defense mechanisms.
Some experts believe that this condition makes it easier to get sick. Especially if the habit of washing hands too often has been started since childhood. That is why it is advisable to wash hands as needed.
2. Increase the risk of developing allergies
In addition to bacteria, viruses, and parasites, the body has also been exposed to various allergens or allergens since childhood. This gives the immune system the benefit of being able to adapt to allergens and not recognizing it as a danger.
Allergies occur when the immune system overreacts to foreign substances that are actually harmless. Excessive reactions can cause itching, inflammation, sinus symptoms, and respiratory and digestive disorders.
If you wash your hands too often, your body has no chance of ‘getting to know’ foreign substances that have the potential to cause allergies later on. Meanwhile, people who grow up with exposure to allergens actually have a smaller risk of developing allergies.
3. Increase the risk of irritation and skin disease
The chemicals contained in hand washing soap and the alcohol contained in the hand sanitizer can cause irritation if used too often. Skin that is exposed to these ingredients excessively tends to become dry, chapped, even bleeding.
Once the skin becomes cracked, bacteria can easily enter the body through the gaps formed. This condition can cause an infection that is marked by itching, redness, until the appearance of pus.
In some people, washing hands too often can even trigger eczema and worsen the symptoms. Eczema cannot be cured, but the symptoms can be controlled through medication.
Some types of diseases start with dirty hands, and this is the reason why hand washing is so important. However, be sure not to overdo it to prevent unexpected side effects.