Mr Joseph Nii Sempe Nyarko, a cosmetologist, has advised the public to use natural hand moisturizers as often as they use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
The frequent and long-term usage of the sanitizers and some antimicrobial and antiseptic soaps, he said, could open the pores on the hand and make them prone to infections, however, the frequent usage of moisturizers, could help to close the pores.
“I will advise that people use natural hand moisturizers like shea butter as often as they use hand sanitizers, especially before bed to help to close the pores.
“So for those who engage in frequent hand washing during the day they also need to moisturize it when going to sleep.”
Mr Nyarko, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the ‘JN Products’ Company Limited, a cosmetic manufacturing company, gave the advice in an interview with the Ghana News Agency.
He said hand sanitizers free from colour and perfume were safer to use and advised the public to purchase only ones approved by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) whether locally made or imported.
He appealed to the public to comply with the safety protocols put in place by World Health Organisation and the Ghana Health Service to stay safe of the respiratory disease.
“Try to stay safe and adhere to all the safety protocols by wearing your face mask, covering your nose and mouth with tissue when sneezing and coughing and dispose the tissue immediately into closed bin.
He said the most important protocol was staying home when one did not have much to do in town.
“Because within a second, somebody goes out and brings it. It is even important that every home has a sanitary protocol such as hand washing facilities,” he added.
Mr Geoffery Arthur, the Head of Inspectorate Department of Medical Devices, Cosmetics & Household Chemical Substances of the FDA, said the Authority speedily approved many brands of hand sanitizers after knowing its effectiveness in the COVID-19 fight.
However, he reiterated that it was important that consumers looked out for certain signs on a sanitizer in the market before purchasing or using it.
“Look out for an FDA approval registration number on it, be sure the product has a brand name, whether the active ingredient is stated, that is whether ethanol or isopropyl alcohol with a percentage of not less than 60 per cent.
“You should be able to see the manufacturer and manufacturer’s address on the product label, you should be able to see the batch number, manufacturing date and expiry date as well as the volume of the product whether it is 70 mls, 100mls or 200 mls,” he advised.
Speaking about the long term effects of alcohol-based hand sanitizers on users, Mr Arthur said the FDA encouraged safety reporting as part of the registration process, and through post market surveillance to review concerns from users whether it had an effect on them to address the situation.
“Anytime you use the product, in case you have an adverse reaction, you can report to the Authority and by gathering that data, we can predict the long term effects of the product,” he said.
With respect to sanitizers that are unapproved, Mr Arthur said the Authority as part of its routine work would take appropriate measures against them should they come across some in the market.
JN Products is a Ghanaian owned company, which has operated in the cosmetic industry for over 20 years. With the brand name, “Silky Style”, it produces hand sanitizers and rubbing alcohol, mint conditioners, hair shampoos and creams, liquid soaps among other products.