Do you have dry skin from all that hand washing?

Do you have dry skin from all that hand washing?

Diligent hand washing with soap and water, or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, can help stop the spread of COVID-19. But it also can lead to dry hands.

How do you prevent dry hands and the spread of the virus at the same time?

Dr. Amy Brodsky, a dermatologist with Advocate Lutheran General Hospital, shares tips on how to keep your skin healthy during extensive, but necessary, hand washing.

“Soap and water not only rinse away germs, but also strip the skin of natural oils, causing it to dry out,” says Dr. Brodsky. “This can cause dry skin and for some dermatitis, a skin irritation that looks red, swollen and dry. Hand hygiene is extremely important during the COVID-19 outbreak and there are steps you can take to prevent skin irritation.”

Taking preventive measures can help alleviate dryness. Here are three tips to follow:

  • Wash your hands in lukewarm water using soap, for at least 20 seconds. Hot water can damage your skin. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
  • When drying your hands, remember to use a towel or paper towel versus an air dryer, and dry under your rings.
  • Use a hand cream to moisturize after applying hand sanitizer or washing your hands. A lotion has more water than oil and a cream has more oil than water, therefore cream is a better way to moisturize.

If you develop cracked, swollen, or itchy skin, you may need advice from a dermatologist and prescription strength topicals.

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  1. I swear by Aquaphor. I rub it in in the evening and let it moisturize my hands all night.

  2. For those of us in the operating room it is important that people know they can only use hospital approved moisturizers. Staff is not allowed to use just any product due to the contents and how it may interact with the product we use to “scrub” our hands for surgical procedures.

  3. “No Crack – Day Use Super hand cream” is what I recommend. I found it at Aurora Pharmacies. Using regularly I don’t have the cracks and bleeding around fingertips during the dry days of winter. I Recommend it to all. They have a Night cream and a lavender scented version too as well as a size that drops easily into your purse/pocket. Find it at the Pharmacy checkout counters. Made is Wisconsin product too.

  4. Alane Zimmermann February 3, 2021 at 11:38 am · Reply

    Aveda Hand Cream is great too.

  5. Goldbond works wonders for me. Overnight!

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.