Dr. Kyle Anderson, KMC Dermatologist in Leawood and Lawrence
In our current state with COVID-19, it is vitally important we all wash our hands as much as possible. Washing for 20 seconds with soap and warm water is preferred and using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is also acceptable. However, frequent handwashing can cause dry skin that can flake, itch, crack, and even bleed. This can cause open wounds in the skin that can allow in bacteria and other germs and increase your risk for infections. It is important to continue washing though, even if your hands are irritated. Let’s look at what precautions you can take to protect your skin.
We can all benefit from frequent use of CeraVe moisturizing cream or Cetaphil Restoraderm moisturizing lotion. Both offer the benefit of increasing the moisture levels of our skin while also infusing ceramides back into the skin barrier. Ceramides make up 50% of the outer layer of skin and are an important component of the lipid layer in our skin which is both protective and helps skin retain moisture. Frequent use of these lotions will benefit your skin both in the short and long term.
If you are experiencing inflamed, sore, itchy hands with no improvement, please contact KMC Dermatology. A dermatologist can treat and determine if there is an underlying cause of the condition. People should seek help the moment your skin condition is making life uncomfortable or unbearable. With nine KMC Dermatology locations, there is likely one near you. Go to kmcpa.com to request an office or virtual visit.
It is important to note – there is a lot of bad information online right now. Using moisturizer after washing your hands does not negate your handwashing efforts, and there is no evidence that using hand sanitizer makes you more vulnerable to infections or viruses.
Sources – Dr. Anderson in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Dermatology.