Hand sanitizer, also called hand antiseptic, handrub, or hand rub, agent applied to the hands for the purpose of removing common pathogens (disease-causing organisms). Hand sanitizers typically come in foam, gel, or liquid form. Their use is recommended when soap and water are not available for hand washing or when repeated hand washing compromises the natural skinbarrier (e.g., causing scaling or fissures to develop in the skin). Although the effectiveness of hand sanitizer is variable, it is employed as a simple means of infection control in a wide variety of settings, from day-care centres and schools to hospitals and health care clinics and from supermarkets to cruise ships.
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