Tips to stop touching your face

It’s harder than you think but if ever there was a time to not touch your face, it’s now.

man touching his chin

What’s the best advice health experts have to help you reduce your risk of contracting the COVID-19 coronavirus? Stop touching your face.

In fact, this is timeless advice if you want to avoid catching any kind of cold or flu.

But the easiest way to not catch coronavirus is one of the hardest things to do.

Once conscious of the fact, you’d be amazed at how often you touch your face.

Look around you. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, you see people with their hands in their mouth and rubbing their nose.

It’s a habit many people pick up in childhood. It might even be an unconscious nervous tic you have. You rub your eye, touch your nose, bite your nails or the skin of your fingers, put your hand to your mouth and feel your face way more often that you think.

A 2015 study revealed that people touch their faces, on average, 23 times an hour, and 44 per cent of the time they touch their mouth, nose, eyes, or a combination of these.

Now more than ever, it’s time to stop this bad habit.

If you want to stay healthy, don’t touch your face.

COVID-19 can enter your body through contact with mucous membranes such as your eyes, nose and mouth. As can many other illnesses.

After touching an infected common public surface such as a handrail, pedestrian crossing or elevator button, or ATM touchpad, then touching your face with the unwashed hand, you could easily transmit the illness to yourself.

But how do you stop touching your face?

The first and most important step is to be aware that you’re doing it. Pay close and constant attention to how often you put your hands near your mouth, scratch your eye or touch your nose. Once you have a heightened awareness of this, you can start to identify your triggers and change your behaviour.

Those who use a computer, can sign up to, set up a webcam and have the program alert you to when you touch your face.

Touching your face is often tied to stress. So, if you notice that stress causes you to touch your face, consider having a stress ball handy or substitute a face touch with clicking your fingers or tapping your thigh.

Some wellbeing guides will tell you to trick yourself into a ‘competing behaviour’ such as touching your arm instead of your face.

If your nose is itchy, train yourself to need a tissue before you scratch or rub your nose. And, if you do rub your nose, wash your hands afterwards!

It’s harder than you think, but if ever there was a time to not touch your face, it’s now.

Do you have any tips for not touching your face?

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    To make a comment, please register or login
    24th Mar 2020
    How can you stop the spread of something if you do not know what it is, where it is, or how it can be spread? Either the authorities know but aren't saying, or they are all a bunch of simpletons grasping at anything to make them look half way intelligent.
    24th Mar 2020
    We have always been living with viruses, and they mutate all the time, the only real defense is to build up your immune system, yes everything else helps a bit but not fool proof.

    BillF2, KSS answered some of your questions on another page here:
    24th Mar 2020
    Your defence against the virus, is isolate at home and die of starvation
    25th Mar 2020
    Wear gloves whilst out and about - they remind you not to touch your face and also protect your hands from other surfaces - disposable food-handling gloves are good and can be discarded once you are home. But even cloth gloves whilst out are a reminder to be careful.
    25th Mar 2020
    Not touching your face sure makes it hard for those with allergies who suffer from itchy eyes and nose generally. Even anti-allergy treatments don't always stop the itching. Supplies of tissues another problem seeing not generally available in shops at present.
    25th Mar 2020
    My wife is making me a face mask. I know they say that face masks don't do much good at protecting you against the virus - viruses are measured on the nanometre scale so they can sneak the relative canyon gaps in the fibre. Nonetheless I've seen claims that they provide protection up to 5 times that of no mask against airborne droplets. Anyhow my main reason for wearing a mask is to stop me from touching my mouth and nose.
    25th Mar 2020
    Here is a great article about how masks works and which ones are best, I doubt a home made one will work sorry.
    25th Mar 2020
    I totally agree with what you say however note the last sentence in the following. Many other articles say the same, i.e. better than no mask against droplet transmission. I'm under no illusion that a homemade mask offers much protection and would be a fool to think so but I figure it is better than none at all. At least people will give me a wide berth at the supermarket.

    'Another study, published in 2013 in the journal Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, found that commercial surgical masks were three times as effective as homemade masks at preventing the spread of the flu. (Commercial surgical masks, the looser fitting fabric masks, are not as effective as specialized, tightly fitting N95 respirators at filtering out tiny virus particles, Live Science previously reported.) It concluded that "a homemade mask should only be considered as a last resort to prevent droplet transmission from infected individuals, but it would be better than no protection."'
    5th Apr 2020
    For many years people having chemotherapy or radiotherapy have worn masks because it damages their immune system. They also have to use hand sanitizer instead of washing their hands after using the toilet and opening or closing a door.

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