Done properly, it’s “one of the best ways to avoid getting sick,” according to

The review is comprehensive, but let’s focus on alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

  • An excellent alternative for hand washing, particularly when soap and water aren’t available.
  • More effective than soap and water in killing bacteria and viruses that cause disease.
  • Commercially prepared hand sanitizers have ingredients that help prevent skin dryness.

The bottom line?
Use only the alcohol-based products containing at least 60% alcohol.

8/19/08 21:40 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.