Twenty seconds can seem like an eternity when you are counting it out while washing your hands. One of the positive things COVID-19 brought with it was that more people were washing their hands, but they were also doing it right. As with many things in life, too much of something can begin to cause issues, and with the more frequent handwashing, comes overly dry skin. Dry, cracked skin can lead to other problems, including the ones you were trying to prevent first by washing them. Let’s look at some ways you can keep your skin moisturized during the pandemic and beyond.
Why Dry Skin May Cancel Out Handwashing
According to health officials, one way we can personally impact the spreading of the virus is by adequately washing our hands. Even the use of hand sanitizer is recommended when you don’t have access to clean them. Unfortunately, both of these can lead to dry, itchy, flaky, and cracked skin. This can lead to open wounds in our skin, which can let bacteria and other germs in, increasing your chances of infection. The good news is that if you keep them moisturized, you can help avoid a dry skin debacle.
The Right Way to Moisturize
Moisturized skin better protects you from germs. Since we do need to wash our hands, here are some tips to keep them from drying out:
- Use lukewarm water to wash your hands for 20 seconds, according to CDC recommendations.
- Once hands are clean, dry with a clean towel, but leave some moisture on them.
- On clean, slightly damp hands, apply a pea-sized amount of moisturizer or ointment on hands.
- Use a moisturizer that is fragrance and dye-free, contains mineral oil or petroleum, and comes in a tube rather than a bottle.
- If using a hand sanitizer, apply moisturizer after the sanitizer has dried.
Know When to See a Professional
Dry skin can affect anyone who is frequently washing their hands, but it can be double trouble for those with eczema and other skin conditions. If you are not getting relief with over the counter moisturizers, or have a diagnosed skin condition, you should talk with your dermatologist about their plan of action. Eczema, along with other skin conditions, needs to have the condition itself treated to get dry skin relief. Applying a thicker moisturizer or Vaseline before bedtime, covering cracks with Band-Aids, and using a humidifier can help ease symptoms for eczema sufferers.
If you are losing the battle with dry skin, request a dermatology appointment with ForCare here, or call (813) 960-2400.