How to stop touching your face to minimize spread of coronavirus and other germs
Touching your face can significantly raise the risk of infection with flu or cold viruses and the new coronavirus.
Your eyes and mouth are areas where viruses can easily enter your body.
Studies have found that people touch their faces more than 16 times in an hour.
We touch our faces so often that the odds of recontaminating our hands between washings are extremely high.
Experts say wearing gloves can help you break the habit of frequently touching your face.
So, we take precautions like washing our handsTrusted Source often and using at least 20 seconds to do so. But this can only help if we also avoid touching our faces, as there’s no way of knowing when you’ve picked up a tiny, and potentially deadly, passenger.
According to the CDC, effective handwashing consists of five simple steps:
Public health officials consistently promote hand-washing as a way for people to protect themselves from the COVID-19 coronavirus. However, this virus can live on metal and plastic for days, so basically adjusting your eyeglasses with unwashed hands may be enough to infect yourself. Thus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have been telling people to stop touching their faces.
People touch their faces frequently. They wipe their eyes, scratch their noses, bite their nails and twirl their mustaches. People touch their faces more when they are anxious, embarrassed or stressed, but also when they aren’t feeling anything at all. Studies show that students, office workers, medical personnel and people on trains touch their faces between nine and 23 times per hour, on average.
Why is it so hard to stop? Face-touching rewards us by relieving momentary discomforts like itches and muscle tension. These discomforts generally pass within a minute, but face-touching provides immediate relief that eventually makes it a habitual response that resists change.