Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers: Review of Efficacy and Adverse Effect

Shegun Victor Oluwatuyi, Alaba Tolulope Agbele, Modupe Elizabeth Ogunrinde, Awe Tolulope Veronica Ayo, Adelabu Mobolaji Ayo, Ayoyinka Bridget Fayoke, Oluwatuyi Mayowa Funmilayo, Ajijola Anuoluwapo Deborah


Objective: The use and adverse effect of alcohol-based hand sanitizers as a preventive measure in combating the spread of COVID-19.  Materials and Methods: A literature search of the electronic databases including PubMed, Scopus, Research gate and Embase was conducted to retrieve articles investigating the protective effect of alcohol-based sanitizers against the spread of COVID-19 as well as its possible adverse effects. The search timeframe ranged from the inception of each database to August 2020.Results: From an initial search of 456 articles, and after the removal of duplicates as well as applying the predetermined inclusion and exclusion criteria, 74 articles were finally included for this systematic review. Results showed promising protective effect of alcohol-based hand sanitizers against the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, no adverse effect was observed after the use of alcohol-based sanitizers though there are certain possible adverse effect identified which includes skin toxicity, risk of skin burn due flammability etc. Conclusion: Alcohol based hand sanitizers are effective against lipophilic viruses which means they are effective against coronaviruses. To ensure efficacy of the product, the recommended ethanol concentrates should be strictly adhered to and regulated. Alcohol based hand sanitizers has few adverse effects ranging from skin toxicity when ethanol concentrates is relatively high and not regulated courtesy of proliferation of fake products in the market. They are known to be flammable in nature and can cause skin burn if the safety and precautionary instructions are not strictly adhered to. Hand hygiene and the use of alcohol based hand sanitizers are effective in preventing direct and indirect spread of COVID-19.

Keywords: Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer; Pandemic; COVID-19; Disinfectants; Disease Prevention

DOI: 10.7176/JHMN/81-01

Publication date:October 31st 2020

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