What the Yuck?!

Should I avoid using public hand sanitizers?

Juliette Borda
Q: How dirty is the pump of hand-sanitizing gel in my doctors office, at the gym, and in other public places?

A: Frankly, the part of the pump your finger touches is probably pretty nasty—but the hand sanitizer youre pumping out should get rid of any germs. To be extra safe, use a tissue or pull down your shirt to press on the gel dispenser. Better yet, carry your own bottle, and use it often. And when in doubt, wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. Overall, that simple move is the best way to keep your hands germ-free.
Roshini Rajapaksa, MD
Last Updated: February 10, 2011

Get the latest health, fitness, anti-aging, and nutrition news, plus special offers, insights and updates from Health.com!

More Ways to Connect with Health