By Jessica Rach for MailOnline
- Expert has revealed how the practice of touching your face can be instrumental in spreading diseases like coronavirus
- Dr. James Cherry, an infectious diseases expert at UCLA, advised wearing gloves or using a sterile contraption to touch your face
- Author Martin Grunwald revealed politicians are extensively trained not to touch their face as it carries negative connotations and distracts from speeches
An expert has revealed how touching your face regularly could play a major role in the spread of diseases like coronavirus.
Dr. James Cherry, an infectious diseases expert at UCLA, has warned that the masks worn by many in the hopes of protecting themselves from the virus won’t actually help if you still touch your eyes or other crevices – a common way to contract a virus.
He says that the regular movement, which comes naturally to most, is something which should be avoided, and advises wearing gloves to make you more conscious of your movements, or keeping the hands occupied by folding them.
Martin Grunwald, who wrote a book about touch perception entitled Homo hapticus, reveals that politicians are ‘trained extensively’ to not to touch their face, explaining that ‘self-touch frequency’ is a ‘negative affect’ and shown to distract attention from a public speech.
Dr. James Cherry, an infectious diseases expert at UCLA has shared top tips for how to stop the ‘dangerous’ habit of touching your face regularly, including wearing gloves (stock image)
Speaking to the LA Times, Dr Cherry said: ‘Surgical masks don’t cover the eyes. And people wearing masks can sometimes get an itch on their nose, and if they rub their nose through their mask, they’re likely to rub their eyes.
‘Viruses are very happy infecting through the eyes as well as through nose and mouth’.
He says: ‘Consider wearing gloves. The latest food safety gloves can also be used on smartphone screens, and gloves might make you more conscious about touching your face.’
Nathan Winch, an award-winning entrepreneur who has sold a successful hand sanitizer company, told Femail: ‘Viruses can enter your body through the mouth, nose or eyes so each time you rub your eyes when you’re tired, put your hand to your mouth to stifle a yawn or scratch your nose, you run the risk of inviting coronavirus in.
‘The virus can latch on to mucus membranes, going on to destroy cells in the throat, nose or sinuses. From there, in someone with a weakened immune system, it can go on to attack the lungs and kidneys.
‘If you feel an itch that must be scratched, have makeup to apply or contact lenses or dentures, try and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after you touch your face. You might also want to consider wearing sterilised gloves if you’re on the move and carry a hand sanitiser if possible.’
Meanwhile Homo hapticus author Martin revealed that politicians are extensively trained not to touch their face as it carries negative connotations and distracts from speeches.
In his book, he writes: ‘Every human being spontaneously touches its eyes, cheeks, chin and mouth manifold every day. These spontaneous facial self-touches (sFST) are elicited with little or no awareness and are distinct from gestures and instrumental acts.
‘Self-touch frequency has been shown to be influenced by negative affect and attention distraction and may be involved in regulating emotion and working memory functions.
‘Politicians, for example, learn through extensive training to restrain from touching their face during public speaking’.