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Most of us assume that people wash their hands before leaving the bathroom. But a 2013 Michigan State study revealed that roughly 10% of people leave the bathroom without washing their hands at all.
Even though almost all of those who partake in surveys about hand washing claim to wash their hands on a regular basis, a detailed study done by Michigan State found different results. Only 90% of those who participated in the study and who used the bathroom actually washed their hands. Of those who did, about 67% used soap while others only rinsed with plain water.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the correct way to wash the hands is to lather and scrub with soap for at least 20 seconds. Washing hands regularly and correctly is the easiest way to prevent the spread of illnesses. In addition to washing hands after each use of the toilet, it is important to wash hands before eating and before and after the preparation of meals. Those who are sick ought to wash their hands more frequently to avoid spreading harmful microbes to others.
Although washing hands and maintaining other hygiene practices are important, excessive hand washing that causes raw, painful hands may be a sign of obsessive compulsive disorder. It is sufficient to wash hands after coming into contact with unhygienic substances and surfaces, and before eating. Additional care should be taken around infants since they have weaker immune systems than adults.
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