Hand washing has taken on new meaning and a new focus throughout the pandemic. Everyone is sanitizing their hands after every small activity, whether it is around the home, at work or wherever your various daily activities take you.
Not only must we sanitize our hands, but our homes as well. And after all of that cleaning, the hands must get their own cleaning. This frequency of sanitizing is causing skin problems for many. A pharmacist can offer advice and suggest products to heal your hands, but you may also need a visit to your doctor.
Doctor Tanya Bleiker, president of the British Association of Dermatologists, says you may need topical steroid cream to calm down the inflammation.
Here are some steps to take to keep your hands healthy and prevent you from reaching that stage.
6. Don’t Stop Washing Your Hands
COVID-19 is still very much with us, and it is still important to stop the spread. One of the best ways to do this is by washing with soap and water or alcoholic hand sanitizer.
However, with frequent hand washing, you break down the normal skin barrier, making the skin dry and itchy. You need a moisturizer to repair the damage before your hands become cracked or inflamed.
Anyone can develop hand eczema from frequently washing the hands, which will make preexisting conditions worse. People with these predisposed conditions must follow treatment regime guidance regarding hand care to withstand frequent washing problems.
5. Avoid Hot Water and Dry Hands Thoroughly
Frequently using hot water to wash hands is more likely to irritate the skin. Using lukewarm water is a better option. Instead of rubbing your hands in a towel to dry them, pat your skin dry and make sure they are thoroughly dried.
Rubbing them with the towel can irritate. Those who wear rings should ensure that their fingers and rings are dried thoroughly. You may want to take your rings off before you wash.
4. Don’t Use Soap Only
You may want to consider having two types of handwashing materials at home. Consider one soap-based hand wash for when you come in from outside, so you kill any virus particles.
Another soap substitute for having is aqueous cream. You can use it the rest of the time while at home. You use this only where there is no risk of infection, which can minimize the amount of detergent you are exposed to.
3. Moisturize Regularly
Avoid fragrance creams if you are suffering from irritation. If you don’t like the feel of the moisture against your skin, you’re not going to use it. If you have dry, chapped skin, however, a greasier ointment is better. It hydrates the skin better and locks the moisture in.
Some people find it too messy, though, especially for work. Dr. Bleiker recommends applying thick moisturizer and then put on cotton gloves, keeping them on overnight.
You can apply moisture right through the day, after each washing of the hands, especially if you have dryness. One of the first obvious places of dryness is on the back of the hands and between the fingers.
Skincare expert at Weleda, Elizabeth King, suggests keeping tubes of hand cream everywhere! In the car, one in your bag and one in the bathroom. It must be accessible and be part of your daily hand care.
2. Massage Your Hands
It should take no more than thirty seconds to massage your hands, Dr. King says. It’s an ideal way to make time to do something for yourself and giving back to the hands that have been sustaining you.
Put cream on both hands, then sweep one hand over the other three times, circling the knuckles with your thumb. You then move along each finger, pinching between each joint gently.
Reaching for the nails, you make circular movements around the nail bed and cuticles, Dr. Kings instructs. Massage the palm, heel of the hand, wrist and finish by stretching the hand. You do this by making a fist then extending the hand. When taking a hand massage, you can take it right up to the elbow. Otherwise, go a little beyond the wrist bone.
1. Wear Gloves
With all the things to do around the home, you are exposed to many situations to dry out or irritate your hands. All the detergents, other cleaning agents, washing-up, shampooing kids’ hair, etc., you need gloves!
Disposable rubber gloves cause sweating of the hand, which makes a bad situation worse by causing irritation. Dr. Bleiker recommends wearing cotton gloves inside or wearing cotton-lined gloves, which reduces sweating.
This action maximizes the present preventable events (that will cause suffering) and maintains the skin barrier. It can also improve the barrier if or when the hands become dry or sore.
Take care of your hands
People notice your hands more than you think. Think about it: When you meet someone, the first thing you do is shake their hand. They attract attention, whether they look great or not. So, you want yours to look great!
Your hands are essential tools of functionality day in day out. It makes sense then to take care of them, as they take care of you. Nobody likes pain, which will be the result of overwashed hands if not properly cared for.