People everywhere are washing their hands now more than ever, thanks to the current Coronavirus pandemic, also known as COVID-19. Guidance from the CDC (the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says we should scrub our hands for a minimum of 20 seconds to curb the spread of germs effectively. We can also use alcohol-based sanitizers to rid any dangerous strands we may pick up along the way. Although hand sanitizers are not as effective as washing with soap and water, they can help eliminate all kinds of germs. And it’s easier to carry around while we go about our day, so we always have the opportunity to sanitize.
The problem with frequent handwashing and sanitizing, however, is dry skin. Although we may be successful at minimizing germ spread, the constant washing may have a direct impact on our skin health. Some of us have realized our hands have become parched and dry, others have noticed a reddish rash-like appearance. Here is some helpful information on how to protect your hands during these times.
Why Hands Get So Dry With Frequent Washings
When you wash your skin, just the water you use will remove essential oils from the surface. When you add soap or detergents, they penetrate deeper into the dermis and remove even more of the protective substances. Once your natural oils are extracted, other vital components of your skin are affected, too. The skin is normally capable of losing some moisture and then bouncing back. But with all this washing going on, the skin can lose too much moisture and turn dry and flaky. Then the structure of the skin begins to fail, producing visible irritation and even cracks.
What You Can Do to Maintain Moist Skin
The first thing you can do is choose a high-quality, non-drying skin cleanser whenever possible. We offer an assortment of skincare products and cleansers throughout our recommended lines, Revision, and SkinMedica. Once you’re finished washing your hands, pat them dry instead of rubbing them on the towel. It may seem like a small difference, but rubbing further irritates the skin that has already been made sensitive by frequent washing. Follow up with a hand cream to seal in moisture.
You can also apply a thick coat of hand cream followed by wearing cotton gloves before bed. Wear them while you sleep so your hands can hydrate before morning, when the many hand cleanings will commence.
Hydrate Your Body
Drinking plenty of water is not only good for your skin but your overall health as well. When your body is well hydrated, your skin will get the necessary moisture from within. We recommend you drink approximately two liters of water every day. Also, avoid diuretics like coffee, tea, and soft drinks.