Health & Wellness

11 Side Effects of Hand Sanitizer Overuse on Skin

What are the side effects of hand sanitizer overuse? Nowadays, hand sanitizers are being utilized more instead of soap to wash hands. Hand sanitizer wipes out germs and bacteria from our hands and leaves a horrible smell from the hands after using it, but some people have a habit of washing hands frequently.

Such people believe that after plopping their hands in every small or big chore, their hands will not be prepared to be rinsed with water only, so they utilize hand sanitizer to rinse their hands again and again. But do you know what are the negative effects of hand sanitizer? Come, let us tell you what are the side effects of hand sanitizer overuse:

Side Effects of Hand Sanitizer Overuse on Skin

Side Effects of Hand Sanitizer Overuse on Skin

Sanitizer is being used as a weapon in the war against Coronavirus. But do you know that sanitizers that reduce the risk of deadly viruses also have many side effects? Its regular use can be dangerous not only for our skin but also for many body parts.

That’s why doctors recommend using soap instead of sanitizer. Why can you not overuse hand sanitizer? Let us tell you what the dangers of overusing hand sanitizer are-

1. Dermatitis or Eczema 

According to the CDC, you can avoid the dangers of overusing hand sanitizer with the Coronavirus by washing your hands for 20 seconds with soap.

In an emergency, you can use a sanitizer containing alcohol. But its regular use can increase the problem of dermatitis or eczema. Due to dermatitis or eczema, the hand sanitizer problems of redness, dryness, and cracks in the skin increase. 

2. Fertility

University of California doctor Chris Norris says that some sanitizers contain alcohol. The ethyl alcohol present in it acts as an antiseptic. In contrast, there are some non-alcoholic sanitizers as well.

Antibiotic compounds such as triclosan or triclocarban are used in non-alcoholic sanitizers. It has been proved in many studies that triclosan has a very bad effect on fertility.

3. Bad Effect on Hormones

According to the FDA, triclosan present in non-alcoholic sanitizers can also be responsible for hormone-related problems. The imbalance of hormones in the body can trigger any severe pain.

4. Disadvantages of Methanol

Some sanitizers also contain a toxic chemical called methanol, increasing the risk of many dangerous side effects like nausea, vomiting, dizziness, insomnia, blurred vision, or blindness. Not only this, it causes immense damage to your nervous system. It can even kill someone. 

5. Harmful Effect on the Immune System

Triclosan is also not suitable for the function of the immune system, which protects humans from diseases. Due to a weak immune system, the chances of getting infected with diseases increase significantly.

6. Inhibiting the Growth of the Body 

To make hand sanitizer more aromatic, toxic chemicals like phthalates and parabens are also used in it.

Phthalates are endocrine disruptors that interfere with human growth and reproduction. Whereas parabens are harmful to our hormones, fertility, and reproductive development.

7. Alcohol Poisoning

To make sanitizer more effective, the amount of alcohol is increased. But there have been many such cases worldwide where teenagers have become victims of alcohol poisoning due to sanitizer. He had to be admitted to the hospital after alcohol poisoning.

8. Skin Related Problems

Hand sanitizer is an antiseptic product. It is used to protect the skin from germs. It is prepared with the help of ingredients like ethyl or isopropyl alcohol.

Perhaps you do not know that its continuous use can increase the problem of skin irritation, dryness. If your skin is very sensitive, then you need to be very careful about it.

9. Phthalates

Chemicals called phthalates are used for fragrance in sanitizers; the sanitizers in which quantity is high are harmful to us. Such highly scented sanitizers cause damage to the liver, kidney, lungs, and reproductive system.

10. Alcohol

The alcohol content in sanitizers can harm children’s health, especially if children swallow it unknowingly.

11. Toxins and Benzalkonium Chloride

Hand sanitizer contains toxins and benzalkonium chloride, which removes germs and bacteria from the hands but is unsuitable for our skin. This can cause some hand sanitizer problems like burning and itching the skin.


It will help read ingredient labels before purchasing hand sanitizer and limit how much you utilize it to the product label’s recommendations. For best results:

● It would help if you supervised children when they use hand sanitizer.

● After usage, you need to wait until your hands get completely dry.

● It will help if you keep hand sanitizer in a cool, dry place to deter alcohol evaporation.

● Don’t overuse it. A pump or two from a hand sanitizer dispenser should be sufficient for your hands.

● You should never taste hand sanitizer.


It would help if you considered these things while using a hand sanitizer:

● If you want to use hand sanitizer correctly, you should only utilize it when your hands are free from noticeable dirt. 

● You need to take care while using only a dime-sized amount (or less), and you should wash your hands together until the hand sanitizer has thoroughly soaked up. 

● For better results (and healthy skin), you should apply a moisturizer as soon as possible after the hand sanitizer has dried. This will help to stave off some of the less than preferable hand sanitizer side effects.


It would help if you stopped these things while you are shopping for a hand sanitizer:

● Hand sanitizers that include less than 60 percent alcohol.

● Hand sanitizers are recorded on the FDA’s Hand Sanitizer Do-Not-Use List.

● Labeled “alcohol-free.”

● Those are packaged in a container that matches a food or beverage container.

Be sure to read: How to Make Hand Sanitizer at home

In Closing

Doctors have also warned that excessive use of hand sanitizer can increase the chances of skin diseases to a great extent. Can increase the chances of skin diseases to a great extent.

Overuse of hand sanitizer can have severe side effects. One study has even indicated the possibility of blindness or death. However, it can be used according to the need to avoid corona.

If you use hand sanitizer properly, the side effects and risks are minimal. Whenever you use hand sanitizer excessively, it can dry up your hands and break the skin.

Some bases in hand sanitizers, such as triclosan, can result in health complications if you contact them in large quantities. It will help if you always read ingredient labels before buying and only use hand sanitizer as recommended on the product label.

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Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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