Is all that cleaning drying your skin?
Many of the unsung heroes during this pandemic has been those in clinics, hospitals, retail stores, etc. that have to sanitize areas to prevent the spread of the virus.
Many of the cleaning solutions that are used, in addition to frequent hand washing and hand sanitizer use, can lead to irritant reactions on the skin, including stronger reactions with blisters and sores.
“It is important to continue to prevent the spread of COVID as much as possible by practicing proper hand hygiene and sanitization techniques. We are seeing an increase in the number of people experiencing irritant dermatitis, especially of the hands. Most commonly, this may be seen as dryness, cracking, and redness of the skin, but more severe reactions are possible. Fortunately, there are strategies to help prevent and treat skin irritation if it occurs.” says Dr. Namita Jain, a dermatologist at Aurora Dermatology in Milwaukee, WI.
If you have come across an adverse reaction or developed irritated skin from the use of cleaning products or from hand hygiene, here are some things Dr. Jain recommends you do:
- To prevent skin irritation before it occurs, minimize contact of cleaning solutions on the skin by wearing gloves and long sleeves.
- Apply moisturizer frequently to the areas of irritated skin multiple times a day, especially after washing hands. Ointments like petrolatum and thicker creams are preferred to thinner lotions.
- Use soaps/moisturizers that are fragrance-free to prevent further irritation.
- Wear gloves when doing housework where the hands would get wet such as washing dishes.
- If these recommendations do not provide relief or if you develop a more severe reaction with blistering or open sores, visit a dermatologist for potential prescription treatments.
About the Author
Colin graduated from Marquette University with a degree in communications and has more than 10 years of experience in small marketing firms to Fortune 500 companies. Colin is married to his wonderful wife, Brooke, and they have two children. Outside of work, Colin enjoys golf, going to the gym, watching movies (he is a Star Wars nerd), tinkering with his home theater and spending time with family and friends.