Hand Hygiene Handwashing and Clean Hands Saves Lives


Number of Microorganisms on Your Hands

Where do you think the most germs are located on your hands?
microorganisms on hands

As studies have shown, our fingernails house the highest level of pathogens on our hands. The area under the fingernail has at least 75 times more microorganisms per density than anywhere else on the hands.

Researchers have known for long time that the hands are the primary perpetrator to the transmission of microorganisms. Clinicians have thus educated on the importance of handwashing, to restrict the spread of germs. Even with frequent handwashing with soap and water, it is nearly impossible to eliminate the presence of pathogens. For this reason, using antiseptic agents, especially alcohol-based rub or gel, are highly recommended to reduce the density of microorganisms on the hands.

Be sure to rub underneath the fingernails each time you wash your hands or apply alcohol-based antiseptic.

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- McGinley K, Larson E, Leyden J. Composition and Density of  Microflora in the Subungual Space of the Hand. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 1988;26(5):950-953.
- Price, P. The bacteriology of normal skin: a new  quantitative test applied to a study of the bacterial flora and the  disinfectant action of mechanical cleansing. The Journal of Infectious Diseases. 1938;63:301-318.