SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is a respiratory virus – it infects individuals by invading the respiratory system. Not everyone who comes in contact with SARS-CoV-2 will necessarily become infected – like most infections, it depends on how much of the virus you come in contact with and for how long, if it can make it to suitable tissue for it to replicate (the respiratory system) and how susceptible you are (how healthy is the immune system).
The virus is not absorbed through the skin, it must make it to respiratory passages to cause infection – the eyes, the nose or the mouth. To prevent this, practice good hand washing (removes virus from the skin that you may have come in contact with) and do not touch your face (so that potential virus on your skin does not get a free ride to your eyes, nose or mouth).
Wearing gloves leads to a false sense of security and generally discourages proper hand-washing and body awareness (not touching your face, not contaminating your clothing). Virus that is picked up on the gloves stays on the gloves, so now the glove has become a potential source of infection! Proper hand washing means not just rubbing the palms of your hands together – you need to get the back of your hands, the webbing in between your fingers, your thumbs, wrists and your cuticles (nails) also. Soap and water is effective at removing the virus – you do not need antibacterial soap (it will not help and just contributes to bacterial resistance – these should only be used in healthcare settings).
People may think, “Well, if healthcare providers need them then I must need them too. They must know something that I don’t.” Healthcare providers are dealing with much more than just corona virus. They need the gloves to act as barrier protection for a litany of other infections which can be absorbed through skin as well as using the gloves as part of an overall infection control protocol not applicable to daily life. They are not holding out on you!
This is general information only and not intended to diagnose or treat your specific health or medical conditions. If you have a specific health or medical condition consult with your healthcare professional. You can also contact Dr. Pintauro directly.