“Covid Hands…” also known as dry hands
Starting in March 2020, COVID-19 has changed our world forever. We have been told by experts it is in our best interest to do certain things like social distancing, wearing masks, avoiding touching our faces, and frequent hand washing. You may have heard of “COVID toes” – now may I introduce “COVID hands”!
I am sure we all were used to washing our hands before this but now with our concern over Covid-19, the directions have become much more clear on proper handwashing. The CDC recommends washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and if unable to use soap and water then hand sanitizer would suffice. The hand sanitizers would need to have a minimum amount of alcohol (at least 60%) covering all aspects of the hands and rubbing until they feel dry…and now that’s what we are left with DRY skin on our wonderfully clean hands!
Even if you have never had a skin problem on your hand before, many people now are finding that the cleaning products are inciting problems like dryness, peeling, cracking, soreness and/or irritation/burning and sometimes redness.
Many think that the hotter the water the cleaner the skin but that’s just not true. The hotter the water the drier the skin becomes. Exposure to water at any temperature, along with an antibacterial soap will strip the skin of it’s own natural moisture and draw moisture out of the skin resulting in dryness. Hand sanitizers seem to be worse in that they can be used more frequently due to convenience and are extremely drying due to the alcohol content. Sanitizers can come in scents too and I think for that reason they may be overused even more due to the pleasant scent that remains temporarily after use.
To combat this it is critical to use emollients to replenish what is lost during the cleaning process. We realize that it is not always convenient (or possible) to apply moisturizer after every hand washing but it quickly becomes a priority once the skin becomes noticeably dry. Ideally, a moisturizer should be applied after washing when the skin is still slightly damp. A bland emollient in a cream base is preferred as it contains the most moisture as compared to a lotion that is a thinner, water-based product. A terrific moisturizer that is usually found in most homes is good old Vaseline (yep, plain petroleum jelly!). Everyone can use this product due to its pureness and it does a great job repairing the moisture barrier and healing any cracks especially if applied before bed and left on overnight.
We want everyone to be safe with HYDRATED SKIN – so please use the moisturizer of your choice and give your dry clean hands a break 🙂