Hand sanitizers are convenient products to have these days – especially if you can’t pop by a bathroom to wash your hands. If you’ve used a hand sanitizer and noticed that you’ve started to itch or develop hives and blisters, you might have a hand sanitizer allergy.
Here, we’ll provide you with everything you need to know about hypoallergenic hand sanitizer. We’ll talk about what causes hand sanitizer allergies, provide you with product recommendations, and answer some frequently asked questions.
Read on to find out more!
How Do You Know If You’re Allergic to Hand Sanitizer?
If you’re allergic to hand sanitizer, you’d most likely experience symptoms such as:
- Dry skin
- Red blotches
These will often appear in patches on or around the area you applied the hand sanitizer. Many hand hygiene products could be responsible for an allergic response due to the ingredients they use.
What Are The Causes of Hand Sanitizer Allergies?
If you’ve got a hand sanitizer allergy, it’s highly likely that you’re allergic to either the fragrances, preservatives or emulsifiers used in the product.
A 2009 study by the World Health Organization, found that allergic contact dermatitis was rather uncommon when using alcohol-based hand rubs.However, allergies and possible toxicity to other antiseptic agents were found. These include:
What Should You Do if You’ve Got a Hand Sanitizer Allergy?
Have a hand sanitizer allergy? It’s important that you go and see either a doctor or a pharmacist and stop using that particular hand sanitizer. It would also be best to look for a hypoallergenic hand sanitizer that uses different ingredients.
Usually, hand sanitizers that are truly hypoallergenic won’t contain any perfumes, preservatives or dyes. They will, however, contain an active ingredient for sterilization, often alcohol. If you’re allergic to the active ingredient in your current product, you’ll need to find a product that is based on a different ingredient or formula.
When it comes to alcohol based hand sanitizers, look for 60-85% alcohol. You shouldn’t be purchasing a hand sanitizer that comes with 100% alcohol as it doesn’t work as well for both killing bacteria or denaturing viruses. It can also dry out your skin and lead to more irritation.
Best Hypoallergenic Hand Sanitizers On the Market
When shopping for a hypoallergenic hand sanitizer, look beyond the marketing hype. Go to the ingredients list and check out if there are hidden fragrances or dyes. We came across dozens of products marketed as “safe for sensitive skin” or “hypoallergenic” that included harmful ingredients!
Here are our top three choices for you and your family.
If you’re allergic to the hand sanitizer that you’re currently using, consider purchasing any of these hypoallergenic hand sanitizers. Many people with sensitive skin have found these to be an effective and allergy-safe alternative.
The Honest Co
This fantastic hand sanitizer is both hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested. It’s made with a combination of 62% ethyl alcohol, glycerin, aloe vera and natural oils that’ll leave the skin feeling both soft and moisturized. Thanks to its unique formula you won’t have to worry about a sticky residue, and it contains no parabens or synthetic fragrances.
This particular hand sanitizer contains 70% ethyl alcohol as the main ingredient and is effective against most common germs. It’s a great hypoallergenic hand sanitizer for sensitive skin given it doesn’t include nasties like fragrances, sulphates, parabens, phthalates or dyes. It’s also shatter-proof and comes in a travel-sized packaging so you can take it with you while you’re on the go.
This hand sanitizer is an effective alcohol-free alternative for those who are sensitive to alcohol. It contains no parabens, sulfates, phthalates, artificial fragrances or dyes. Its unscented formula with plant-based ingredients makes an excellent low-allergenic choice for not only your baby, but for adults too!
FAQ’s – You Ask, We Answer
Below are answers to some of the commonly asked questions we’ve received.
What happens if you use expired hand sanitizer?
With an expired hand sanitizer the alcohol concentration will likely drop. Even so, it may still have some level of effectiveness and won’t be dangerous to use. It is better to get a fresh batch as soon as you can though.
Can hand sanitizer stop itching?
In some cases, yes. Since hand sanitizers contain alcohol, they can kill many germs and bacteria which may be causing the itch. If the itch is due to an allergy or another cause, hand sanitizer is likely not going to be effective.
Is too much hand sanitizer bad for your skin?
Yes, too much hand sanitizer can irritate your skin. The alcohol content can be harsh and also not ideal for your skin as it can dry out the upper skin layers, causing it to peel.
Is it harmful to eat with hands right after using hand sanitizer?
It’s not harmful. If you’re worried that your children lick or eat their hands after using hand sanitizer that’s not something you’d need to be concerned about. Drinking hand sanitizer on the other hand can cause alcohol poisoning.
Do you need to wash hands after using your hand sanitizer?
If you’d like, you can wash your hands before or after using hand sanitizer. It won’t affect the virus-killing effects, washing your hands will just help with removing any chemicals or fragrances that may exist in the hand sanitizer that you’re using. A combination of using hand sanitizer and washing your hands with soap is ideal to remove as many harmful germs and bacteria as possible.
How can you determine the quality of your hand sanitizer?
You can do something called the tissue paper test. Go ahead and draw a circle on your tissue paper with a pen and then drop some hand sanitizer inside the circle. If the ink fades away and spills then your hand sanitizer is real as the alcohol content breaks down the ink. If the circle remains and the paper dries quickly, it indicates that your hand sanitizer does not have the required amount of alcohol to be effective.
How many times can I use hand sanitizer?
There isn’t a set number of times that you need to disinfect your hands with hand sanitizer. You can do it if your hands feel dirty and you don’t have access to a sink. Where possible, always try and wash your hands with soap and water instead.
Can hand sanitizer make you sick?
No unless you intentionally ingest it. While you can be allergic to certain ingredients in your hand sanitizer, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are incredibly effective at keeping the microorganisms at bay and prevent viruses and bacteria from entering your system.
We hope that this article provides you with a comprehensive overview of hypoallergenic hand sanitizers and what causes these allergies. Where possible, you should always try and wash your hands with soap and water instead. If that’s not possible, you should opt for a hypoallergenic hand sanitizer that’s made of natural ingredients to avoid triggering an allergy.