Regularly washing and sanitizing your hands is a pivotal first line of defense against COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend carefully scrubbing your hands for 20 seconds to mitigate the risk of spreading germs effectively. The use of high percentage alcohol hand sanitizers (60% or higher) can also help remove viruses and other contaminants. However, sanitizers can’t replace the effectiveness of soap and water whenever it’s available.
While these steps are a vital means of staying safe and healthy, constant handwashing and sanitizing can be quite tough on your skin. Especially if you are already prone to dry skin or live in an arid climate, these safety measures can cause exceptionally dry skin––In some cases, developing into an itchy, cracked, and red rash-like condition.
We’ve compiled this list of tips for keeping your skin moisturized and glowing during this new phase of constant scrubbing in the hopes of making CDC guidelines a bit more comfortable.
How Hand Washing Dries Out Skin
Each time you wash your hands, soap and water rinses and strips away germs, dirt, and grime. However, hand washing also removes those precious protective oils that keep your skin healthy and moist. Over time, your skin will become dry and cracked without these oils. If left unaddressed, cracked skin can lead to infections or other more complicated skin issues.
So, the question is, how do you maintain your skin’s balance of oils and nutrients while fighting your hardest against novel coronavirus?
Keeping Skin Healthy
There are several simple habits to incorporate into your handwashing routine that will keep your skin moist, comfortable, and healthy. First, be careful when you pick your hand soap. Look for a gentle, all-natural, and ideally, fragrance-free soap specifically made for hands (not dish soap). This way, you’ll minimize irritation.
Skip rubbing your hands dry if you can. Using towels to dry your hands vigorously increases the abrasion your skin endures. More so, towels can remove more of your natural oils. Instead, pat your hands dry or ideally allow them to air dry after washing.
Once you’ve finished washing your hands, immediately apply a rich moisturizing cream to lock in moisture. The sooner you do this step, the better. If your hands are still a little damp, moisturizing can provide the hydration your skin is craving. Look for hand creams that are irritant and fragrance-free. Kiehl’s Ultimate Strength Hand Salve is an outstanding option that lasts a long time and only requires a pea-sized amount to cover your hands.
If you’re moisturizing regularly and still dealing with very dry hand skin, you may want to invest in a pair of cotton gloves. Before bed, apply a thick hand cream/salve or Vaseline and then put on your gloves. This will provide a hydrating and restorative environment for your hands throughout the night. By morning, your skin will be ready for another round of scrubbing.
Questions? Let Us Know.
Coronavirus has brought about a new world, with challenges unlike anything we’ve seen in generations. Dr. Armijo and our entire team are committed to maintaining the safety and welfare of our clients, employees, and community in every way we can. In the office, we are following strict CDC guidelines and upkeeping a sterile working environment.
If you have any more questions about skincare amidst the pandemic, scheduling a non-surgical or skincare procedure in the future, or simply want to learn more about our practice, the next step is to schedule a consultation.
During this one-on-one meeting, you’ll have a chance to meet Dr. Armijo and ask anything that’s on your mind. To schedule, please reach out to our Dallas, TX office by calling (214) 540-1434 or contacting us online today!