How to get rid of coronavirus on your skin

Once inside our body, the Covid-19 is difficult to fight, so don’t let it in! We can protect ourselves, our loved ones and the general population with a simple gesture: regular hand washing. How can such a simple gesture be effective against such a virulent virus?

A virus is an object of nanometric size, about 100 nanometers in diameter. It is 100 times smaller than a human cell and 1 million times smaller than a tennis ball. This nanoparticle consists of a viral envelope, formed of a lipid membrane (that is to say of fat) and proteins, encapsulating a macromolecule encoding the genome of the virus.

The active ingredients in soap are surfactants, molecules which can be likened to crowbars, which can be used on a nanometric scale to dismantle the virus. These molecules are made up of a part which likes water and another which likes fatty substances – they are called amphiphiles (“amphi” means “double” in Greek). The membrane of the virus is a fatty substance, like oil.

The hydrophobic part of the surfactants contained in the soap clings to the membrane of the virus and, at the time of rinsing, the hydrophilic part is attracted by the water molecules. The result of the forces exerted on the virus causes the rupture of its fatty membrane, breaking down the envelope, then the RNA molecule. The virus becomes inactive and detaches from the skin thanks to the action of surfactants, hand rubbing and water flow.

“Do the following experiment: pour a little oil into the water. The two bodies do not mix. Now add soap and shake. (…)

Read more on LePoint.fr

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Are the French so dirty?
Covid-19: why it is imperative to wash your hands
“Modern African music was born in Congo, and Manu Dibango was there”
Coronavirus: first gendarme died in France
Receive the Le Point.fr newsletter