Alcohol-Based Products If You Have Autoimmune Alopecia
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend the use of hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol to “help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others” when soap and water are not available.
This blog post is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical or health condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read, heard, or seen in this blog post.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are very potent in wiping off bacteria, but it’s worth knowing that this potency also applies to wiping off GOOD, beneficial bacteria on the skin surface, which is part our body’s own natural defence system. Beating down our own natural defence can cause chronic risk over time, according to surgical oncologist Dr Treven Fischer.
According to a 2008 meta-analysis published in the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, topical application of alcohol can lower the skin barrier function and cause the membrane to be more permeable to harmful chemicals that you may be exposed to.
This is to say that although there is place for using hand sanitizers, choose your products carefully, and exercise good judgment (and follow the advice of your healthcare professionals and healthcare authorities when it comes to specific circumstances and health concerns).
I believe that majority of our effort should still be put into nourishing our immune system.
For people with autoimmunity, maintaining a robust gut bacteria population is crucial. So, my approach when it comes to hygiene is to choose one that is effective yet doesn’t destroy the microbiome we’ve worked to hard to build. Having a strong immune system is a much stronger barrier against pathogens from the environment.
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