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Prevent Skin Irritation from Frequent Hand Washing


With all the hand hygiene everyone has been doing during the COVID pandemic, many of us are experiencing skin irritations.

Increased washing, sanitizing, and disinfecting can cause your skin to become overly dry and possibly developing dermatitis, a skin inflammation leaving your hands red, itchy, cracked, and sore.

What can we do to help prevent this? Wash, Pat, and then moisturize. 

Here are five basic skin-friendly hand hygiene steps recommended by UC Davis Health:

  1. Use mild, fragrance-free soap to remove the dirt.
  2. Avoid using too much soap that creates a thick lather.
  3. Wash with warm, not hot water, for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Pat your hands dry with a towel.
  5. Once your hands are dry, apply a moisturizer immediately.

Use thick hand cream to keep your hands moisturized.  They also recommend you use creams and ointments instead of lotions.  Petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) is an excellent moisturizer that does not contain skin irritating ingredients such as lanolin and preservatives.  You can also use soap rich in moisturizing ingredients such as avocado oil, shea butter, and coconut oil. 

If your skin condition continues, consult your doctor.

Source: US Davis Health