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Dr. Mamelak is moving!

In Accordance with §165.5 of the Texas Administrative Code, Dr. Mamelak is informing all patients that he is leaving Sanova Dermatology. His last day in the clinic will be May 10, 2024.

Washing your hands is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of diseases like the coronavirus and reduce the risk of infection. The CDC states that you should wash your hands before, during, and after touching most surfaces. The World Health Organization also backs these claims up with guidelines of their own. Keeping your hands clean is simple and can be done with soap and water or with hand sanitizer. This gives a person the flexibility to practice good hygiene even on the go. Let’s look a little closer at the difference between hand soap and sanitizer.

Hand soap

A really good hand soap, such as Mrs. Meyer’s or Method, are liquid hand soaps that are used in most homes across the country. You can use bar soap as well as the only real difference is the form that it takes.

As long as you’re using some form of soap it will work just fine to keep clean your skin and prevent disease.

Soap works by trapping dirt, grime and oil and allows them to be washed away by water. This is because of the chemical nature of soap. It can attract hydrophobic and hydrophilic molecules. Bacteria and microorganisms are also washed away, similar to the dirt and oil.

Hand sanitizer

Using a hand sanitizer like Dial or PURELL are great choices for keeping the hands clean if clean water isn’t available for washing. Hand sanitizer works rubbing your hands together with the sanitizer applied.

Hand sanitizer doesn’t work as well as handwashing with soap but it can help prevent the spread of disease. This is because the alcohol in hand sanitizer kills germs and bacteria that cause disease, however it does not necessarily remove dirt and grime. This method really works best if paired with regular hand washing.

Hand sanitizer that is over 60% alcohol works best and your hands must be free of debris like dirt and grim.

Best of Both Worlds

It should be noted that antiseptic soaps are hand soaps that have additional active ingredients added to them. These ingredients are agents that have significant antimicrobial activity. Some of these may be bactericidal (able to kill bacteria), bacteriostatic (stop the growth of bacteria), possess anti-viral and/or anti-fungal activity as well.

Many of these preparations are used in a hospital setting for patient contact or to prep for surgery.


Hand soap does work better than hand sanitizer due to its ability to gather up things like dirt and grime, and then wash it away with water. Hand sanitizer with 60 percent or greater alcohol can kill bacteria and germs outright.

Using a good soap like Mrs. Meyers or soft soap are popular choices for keeping hands clean. Pairing this with a hand sanitizer like Purell can greatly reduce the risk of catching something like the coronavirus. Both are good to use, but remember to follow established guidelines for keeping your hands clean.

Do you feel like you need more information? Dermatologists are specialists in how infections spread from the skin, and have knowledge about topical creams and cleansers. Contact me for more information about ways to protect yourself from communicable diseases.