How to Take Care of Your Hands When You’re Washing Them So Much to Prevent Coronavirus
Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says people should scrub their hands for at least 20 seconds to effectively curb the spread of germs. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol can also be used to rid your hands of germs, but it does not remove debris.
Frequent hand washing, though a reliable way to ward off illness, can lead to and exacerbate dry skin issues.
Soap and water rinses away germs and dirt the most, but also strips the natural, protective oils in your skin, causing it to dry out.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers, which kill the microbes on skin without removing any debris, irritate hands less than soap.
Use hand sanitizers when it makes the most sense, like after touching a door handle or another surface that might carry germs, instead of repeatedly washing your hands.
While the CDC recommends using hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available, the agency says sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs and that only soap can wash away visible dirt or grease.
Apply Moisturizer every time you wash your hands. You want to pat yourself dry and leave a small amount of dampness, and then moisturize to lock in the water. Once your hands are dry, immediately use a hand cream to seal in the moisture. Ideal hand creams should not include irritants, such as retinol or other anti-aging serums, allergens or fragrances.
Hand soap should also be gentle and ideally fragrance-free.
You don’t want to use something that’s meant to clean the pasta sauce off your bowl.
Among the many kinds of moisturizers, hand creams are better than body lotion because they are more nourishing. Lotions which are primarily water-based, can further dry out skin because the water evaporates, he says. Creams, which are often oil-based, are more effective after washing hands.
In addition to making a routine out of using hand cream after washing your hands, a humidifier can help keep the air — and in turn, your skin— moist.
Wearing disposable gloves is also an option.
Applying extra moisturizing hand creams after washing hands and especially before going to bed is a good idea.
-Brilliant Massage & Skin, Burlington, Vermont