Protecting Your Families Skin
Certified dermatologist, Dr. Jason Emer offers expert tips on how to protect your hands from becoming dry and chapped due to excessive hand-washing and the use of alcohol-based sanitizers.during this time of combating the Coronavirus.
The skin that protects our hands is thin and delicate, it is important to be sensitive, not aggressive while taking precaution. Using the right products too will assist in curbing dry, achy skin.
Moisturize after washing
Follow-up your hand-washing routine immediately with a fast-acting moisturizer that works to hydrate skin and nails. My favorite over-the-counter brands are:
Aroma Moisturizing Body Lotion, CeraVe Advanced Moisturizing Cream and Aveeno Skin Relief. If you are homebound and cannot get out to the store, mix together your own using coconut oil (or shea butter) with a drop of aloe vera and/or honey.
Wearing gloves is a great option to avoid contamination from others. If you choose to wear disposable latex gloves, moisturize your hands before you put them on. The powder inside the gloves can cause skin irritation including dryness, redness and in extreme cases bleeding.
Warm rather than hot
Washing hands repeatedly with HOT water can strip your skin's natural moisture, which can compound with other causes of dryness to make your hands and knuckles tight, itchy and uncomfortable. Hot water also contributes to cuticle growth and irritation so moisturize your cuticles as much as possible. Use warm water when possible. Use olive oil or Vitamin E as a great natural alternative for cuticle care.
Watch your skin pH
Healthy skin has a pH level of 5.5. Washing your hands repeatedly with soaps that are not the correct pH will throw this pH balance off. The wrong pH level will contribute to the skin's irritation and dryness. Check your skin ph more regularly and compensate with different products to get the correct skin pH.
Use non-alcoholic hand sanitizers
Alcohol-free hand sanitizers entered the market to address the concerns and complaints of gels and offer All-Natural products. These non-alcoholic sanitizers use essential oils that are known to have bacteria-killing characteristics. The ingredients are much easier on the hands and being all-natural, pose much less of a threat in cases of accidental ingestion. Alcohol-free hand sanitizers are a low fire hazard and are non-damaging to surfaces. The key ingredients that kill the bacteria do not evaporate like alcohol and so offer extended protection.
If you have a pre-existing allergy or skin condition such as eczema or psoriasis, consult your board-certified dermatologist, as medical-grade or prescription skincare may be necessary to avoid flare-ups or skin infection.