A study (2018) by the SRH University of Applied Sciences in Heidelberg found that women wash their hands more thoroughly and more often than men. 11 percent of men refrain completely from washing their hands after going to the toilet and just under half do not use soap. In contrast, 82 percent of women used water and soap and only three percent refrained from washing their hands. Around 1,000 visitors to public toilets in fast food restaurants, at rest stops, in canteens and around railway stations were observed in the Heidelberg area. According to the study, women are better than men, but that is only half the truth. Across both sexes, 27 per cent washed their hands with water only. The necessary thoroughness was lacking in 58 per cent of those observed who used water and soap.
This has certainly changed today, because hand hygiene is more important than ever. Washing and disinfecting hands is essential, but it puts a strain on the skin and can thus negatively affect the natural skin barrier, the skin's protective shield. In order to protect the skin from barrier disorders, it must be sufficiently supplied with lipids (fats) and moisture. Soap and disinfectants remove lipids from the skin so that it can dry out in the long run. This can be noticed by feelings of tension, redness, itching or when the skin feels rough and cracks. Bacteria, fungi or allergens can penetrate the skin more easily. Here we have summarised the most important things - for hygienically clean and well-cared-for hands: