Hand Sanitizer, Is It Protecting You From Getting Sick?

Seems like hand sanitizer is everywhere you look.

It's outside the grocery store; some of us even keep it in our purse.

We use it on ourselves and on our kids.

But are these products really good for us?

"It's important to realize that too much hand sanitizer kills healthy bacteria on your hands which are sometimes important for the development of a healthy immune system," said Dr. Nidhi Mehrotra, a Fresno Pediatrician.

Dr. Mehrotra also explains that using too much sanitizer can make us resistant to it overtime.

And not all hand sanitizers are the same.

The common product "triclosan" is actually not proven to work, according to Dr. Mehrotra.

If you are going to use a sanitizer, go for one that has at least 60% alcohol.

But Dr. Mehrotra says even that is not a full proof plan.

"It does help with some bacteria as well as some viruses but the 99.9% claim on the bottles is generally not accurate," said Dr. Mehrotra.

So what is the solution?

Doctors say in this case, the old fashion way, is the best way.

"Antibacterial can be useful when soap and water is not available but soap and water should also be your first choice," said Mehrotra.

Doctors recommend washing your hands for at least 30-seconds, work up a good lather and, enough friction to remove any dirt and bacteria.

In the case of the stomach flu, hand sanitizers do nothing to protect against it.