With information of more and more potential cases of this new COVID-19 around the world., now is the time to acquire your hand-washing game on point. But all that washing may also have you ever worrying about a common skin issue: itchy, itchy, red, painful skin on your palms. Tropika Club talked to experts about how to manage and heal these tender, cracked hands in the safest way possible.

Dry skin happens on your palms for basically the very same reasons it happens elsewhere on your body. It is made up of skin cells, which behave like bricks, and lipids (fats), which behave as mortar. Consequently, if there is something wrong with the skin barrier, then moisture will probably be more likely to escape out of the epidermis. When you clean your hands, you’re literally drawing moisture out of the epidermis and stripping it of the organic wholesome fats which are supposed to be there. And things like using hot water, using harsh antibacterial soaps, and not moisturising afterward can make all that worse.

On the milder end, you might feel like the skin on your hands is dry, red, tight, or a little itchy. However, on the more serious end, you can experience a lot of irritation, intense itchiness, and even cracks in the skin, which can actually increase your risk of infection. Individuals who are prone to eczema might even require prescription topical treatments to manage symptoms like these. So, yes, it’s great that you are being diligent about washing your hands. But if you do not also take some precautions, your palms will not be happy with you.

Here are some easy, expert-approved ways to keep your hands clean and moisturized.

Hand washes with antibacterial ingredients as well as alcohol-based hand sanitisers can be particularly harsh and drying in your skin. You do not really need to use those types of additives to get rid of germs–that the friction created by the mechanical act of washing your hands as well as the cleansing ingredients in the soaps is what actually removes the microbes out of your palms. Although our understanding of how the new coronavirus spreads and how to protect ourselves out of It’s still growing, regularly washing your hands with soap and water. So, yes, that does mean that actually washing your hands correctly–and for at least 20 minutes –is completely needed.

Washing your hands with water that is too cold or hot is, just, uncomfortable. Plus, using hot water is a simple way to wash your skin out even more. That is why she recommends using a comfy lukewarm water temperature.

When they are still just a little bit moist, that’s the perfect time to use your hand cream. Instead, it’s worth getting and maintaining your own personal hand cream with you or at your desk. Although “moist skin is a better conduit” for germs than skin that is dry, most hand creams absorb incredibly quickly, frequently leaving your palms dry again within 10 to 15 seconds. So as long as you have a little time to allow the cream dry before you get anything filthy or rancid, this shouldn’t be a concern.

The larger priority is keeping up your hand-washing. The fact is, whether you cream up right after washing your hands or not, if you’re at a public or communal space, you’re likely going to touch something else fairly fast –like a doorknob, an elevator button, etc.. That’s why it’s super important to always wash your hands before touching your face or ingesting. Do not let the fear of germs put you off from lotioning up. You are certainly not going to want to wash your hands if they are dry and cracked. Thus moisturising your hands frequently after washing is partially a way to ensure that you continue to wash them.

Talking of sealing hydration you’re going to want to look for hand creams that have occlusive properties, meaning they do this sealing task really well. Specifically, attempt ingredients such as ceramides, petrolatum, and dimethicone, which may behave as occlusive skin protectants to help your skin barrier maintain water and possible irritants or germs out. Hand creams containing expectant ingredients, like hyaluronic acid or glycerin, will add an additional boost of water on your own skin, but also the occlusives can help keep it all there.

During the day you probably don’t want something too thick or greasy in your fingers. But night is the perfect chance to use an ointment like Vaseline, Aquaphor, or CeraVe with fabric gloves at the top. Products like these are particularly good at sealing moisture from the skin.

When you’re coping with dry hands from overwashing, it is particularly important to listen to other items that could be contributing to the dryness, like using home-cleaning supplies. Always wear gloves if you’re using products like this. Not only can they exacerbate dry skin, but they could also result in serious irritation and contact dermatitis.

People that are prone to psoriasis –that, yes, may be triggered or exacerbated by excessive hand-washing–might want to check in with a dermatologist that can go on the best way to secure their skin and, if necessary, prescribe a corticosteroid therapy to help their skin cure.

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