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Hand Sanitizer

Discussion in 'Product Questions' started by Frognut, Jan 20, 2009.

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  1. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    I know many use hand sanitizer before and after handling their critters, and I have seen almost every vendor have a bottle of the stuff at the Reptile shows -- but are all sanitizer created equal?

    Especially with frogs, that absorb so much through their skin - do the ingredients in the sanitizer matter?

    I got this stuff at a seminar; it is an alcohol based sanitizer with Neu-Thera Moisturizers. The active ingredient is ethyl alcohol. Unfortunately I've been staring at the computer screen too long and I can't read the tiny print listing the inactive ingredients (I'll try tomorrow if necessary;))

    Maybe I'm just paranoid, but I figured 1. you all would understand and 2. you would probably be able to answer my question...

    Up to now, I just run to the kitchen and wash my hands between picking up different species, as well as before and after. It would be nice to just go from one cage to the other without heading to the sink --- but not at the risk of my babies!
  2. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I wouldn't advise using sanitizer before handling amphibians, because of the sensitive and absorbent nature of their skin.

    Personally, I abhor the stuff (I can't stand lotion either, just some quirks of mine.). I just go with a rinse, and soap if necessary, and another thorough rinse.
  3. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I don't use hand sanitizer mostly because they dry the hands out so much.

    I would say look for the no frills one. No scents, color, nothing. The alcohol is fine, it evaporates.
  4. labelleninirose

    labelleninirose Elite Member

    you can always use latex gloves, its what I use if I have to handle all my frogs, I just change them each time i change frogs.
  5. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    As many of you know, I am a medic. I work for a private ambulance company so I am in and out of hospitals and nursing homes more so than I would be if I was with 911. Throughout the course of the day I can come in to contact with many patients. As you can imagine I need to wash or somehow otherwise clean my hands many times a day. Because we often have a patient on the stretcher we don't have the luxury of hunting down a sink and soap to was, so our best option is to use the hand cleaners. And like Liz says, some can murder the skin on your hands if you use it a lot. (purell) But the same can be said for washing your hands constantly too.

    I have actually put a lot of thought into the whole issue of putting chemicals on my hands and then handling reptiles or amphibians. I was worried about what they might absorb, and have since decided that as long as you are careful it should be safe. My reasoning behind this conclusion is pretty simple. They have the stuff in NICUs and the newly born nurseries at hospitals. If it is has been decided that it is safe to touch a neonatal baby with freshly cleaned hands using these chemicals then I would have to think that it would be safe to do the same with a frog.

    Now, if you are like me and will need to use it many times throughout the day I wouldn't suggest going with the purrell. There is another brand out there that actually has less alcohol in it but also has something that keeps your hands from drying out. I just can't think of the name brand off the top of my head. Hopefully when I go to work tomorrow, I will be able to get to one of the facilities that uses it and will let ya'll know what I find.
  6. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    I just wanted to add, that a little known fact about latex is that the more you are exposed to it, the more likely you are to develop an allergy. I would honestly suggest switching to a nitrile or vinyl glove instead. At the very least you would want to be sure to use non powdered latex. I don't imagine that the powder they put on them would be good for the frogs either.
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Shell, the only catch in your comparison I see,...
    and I might be very wrong,...
    is that the skin of a human is nowhere near as permeable as the skin on an amphibian. We don't absorb water or chemicals thru our skins.
    But like I said I might be wrong and your experience in this area far out weighs mine.
  8. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Humans can absorb toxins through their skin, just not nearly to the extent which amphibians do.
  9. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    Ahh, but neonates can... That was why I specifically thought about them.
  10. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    This is all very interesting -- thanks for the answers! The stuff I picked up has some form of moisturizers in it, which is what made me concerned about using it before I handled the frogs.

    I didn't really think the regular stuff, with just alcohol was too much of an issue because it does evaporate. Since I'd really only use it when I change from handling the frogs to the gecko, it's not like I'd use it much, I'm not worried about drying out my hands.

    It would just save me from running back to the sink to wash in between. That usually involves putting lids back on or asking someone to watch the critters for a minute. Having the sanitizer just saves me leaving the room.

    I will look around and check out the ingredients of the various brands and see what's out there. Thanks!
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