Tips to Avoid Touching Your Face During the Pandemic

09 June, 2020
One of the recommendations for reducing the risk of spreading coronavirus is to avoid touching your face as soon as possible. Why? We'll explain in today's article.

Specialists say you shouldn’t touch your face during the current coronavirus pandemic. But why is this so important? There’s a lot of talk going on about how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. And these preventative measures include not touching your face–particularly, your eyes, nose, and mouth. 

In order to understand the reason behind this recommendation, we first need to go over how the virus enters our bodies. How does this infection begin? At the same time, we’ll look at other measures that are also determining factors in reducing the risk of contagion.

What’s the port of entry for coronavirus?

Your eyes, nose, and mouth are all entryways for the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious agents. The coronavirus illness is an infection and, like many other infections of this type, it enters through the eyes, nose, and mouth. The virus (COVID-19) can spread from one person to another through the drops that come are expelled from the nose or mouth when an infected individual coughs, sneezes or exhales.

And the infection doesn’t just occur through direct contact between people. These drops fall onto objects and surfaces where the virus remains active. And when someone comes into contact with these contaminated surfaces and then touches their face, this can also lead to infection.

In other words, if the face is one of the gateways for the entrance of this virus, then it clearly deserves special attention. And, this way, we reduce the risk of the virus entering our organisms and causing infection.

As simple as it seems, these measures are considered efficient and have been helpful in reducing risks in the past with other infectious diseases. In fact, you should apply these same protective techniques for more common illnesses as well… such as the cold and flu.

A woman wearing a medical mask.

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What other measures are closely tied to preventing the spread of coronavirus?

At the same time, these viruses can remain on uncleaned surfaces for up to several days. That’s why it’s important to pay attention and clean areas of contact often. For example, we’re talking about doorknobs, electronic devices, elevator buttons, public handrails, and so on.

Frequent cleaning helps to reduce the amount of the virus present on these surfaces. At the same time, it helps to reduce the possibility of the virus spreading to people that are healthy. While many people are unaware, this is a means of contagion for the coronavirus pandemic and other infectious and non-infectious illnesses as well.

At the same time, adopting means of prevention doesn’t just contribute to reducing the spread of coronavirus. It also reduces the propagation of other infectious illnesses that spread in the same way. Therefore, we obtain an extra benefit in caring for our individual and collective health.

Protective measures against the coronavirus pandemic:

  • Frequent handwashing with soap and water, or the use of hand sanitizer
  • Maintaining social distance
  • Avoiding touching your face–especially your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Cleaning surfaces that we touch often with bleach and water
A woman sneezing into a tissue.

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Tip to avoid touching your face during the coronavirus pandemic

Not touching your face may seem impossible. However, it’s good to adopt measures in order to reduce the number of times you do it.

So, what can we do to avoid this habit that for many is so unconscious, automatic, and constant? Below, we’ll offer a few recommendations for you to follow.

  • Keep disposable tissue on hand to use in case your face itches or you need to rub your nose, eyes, etc. Use the tissue rather than using your fingers and throw it in the trash right away.
  • Avoid contact lenses.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue of with the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneezeAgain, if you use a tissue, dispose of it immediately. This way, you’ll reduce the amount of the virus that could be on your hands.
  • Keep your hands busy to avoid compulsive behaviors, or just keep your fingers crossed.
  • Try to discover and be aware of what it is that causes you to touch your face. As much as possible, of course. This may be an itch, an allergy, the use of contact lenses, a simple habit, and so on.

In practice, you may consider it easier to incorporate the habit of washing our hands more often than not touching your face. This is because, for many, touching their face is an automatic and unconscious habit.

But just the same, we should still try. As long as we keep this factor in mind and identify it as something that puts our health at risk, then we’ll be more likely to reduce the number of times you touch your face.

  • Velavan, T. P., & Meyer, C. G. (2020, March 1). The COVID-19 epidemic. Tropical Medicine and International Health. Blackwell Publishing Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1111/tmi.13383
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Situation Summary. 2020-01-30)[2020-02-01]. Https://Www. Cdc. Gov/Coronavirus/2019-Ncov/Summary. Html. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html
  • Sun, P., Lu, X., Xu, C., Sun, W., & Pan, B. (2020). Understanding of COVID-19 based on current evidence. Journal of Medical Virology. John Wiley and Sons Inc. https://doi.org/10.1002/jmv.25722