Tips for Managing Dry Skin from Frequent Hand Washing and Sanitizing

As states begin reopening and we all start to find a new normal, it’s more important than ever to integrate CDC protocol into our daily lives. Along with wearing a mask covering your mouth and nose in public spaces and social distancing, regularly sanitizing and washing your hands (for 20 seconds) is a critical safety measure in lowering your risk of contracting COVID-19.

While hand sanitizer and soap are powerful defenses against the coronavirus, they don’t just wash away germs and dirt. When you scrub your hands, you also remove natural oils that moisturize and protect your hand skin. Skin is a delicate ecosystem, and without these oils, it can quickly become dry, irritated, flaky, and cracked.

Luckily, you can take several simple steps to protect your health and your skin amidst the global pandemic. Below, we’ve broken down everything you need to know to keep your skin soft, supple, and healthy. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

1. Moisturizer: Your New Best Friend

After stripping your hands of moisture and oils, it’s up to you to reinvigorate your skin—cue moisturizer. If you aren’t already, it’s time to invest in a high-quality, all-natural hand cream or salve. These deeply hydrating products will make a remarkable difference in how your skin feels and prevent any severe damage or dryness from developing.

If possible, look for one with a botanical formula and no added fragrances. Kiehl’s Ultra-Strength Hand Salve is an excellent option, and just a pea-sized amount is enough for both hands. Generally, we advise skipping lotions, as they have far less rich formulas, and don’t do the deep work you need to keep skin happy amidst constant washing.

Once you wash your hands, apply the moisturizer of choice, and get on with your day. You should see immediate improvement. If you’re still not getting the moisture you need, buy a pair of cotton gloves. Before bed, apply a thick cream or petroleum jelly to your hands, pull on your gloves, and go to sleep.

Overnight, your hands will receive a restorative boost of moisture that targets the lower layers of skin, and root causes of dryness.

2. Picking the Perfect Soap

Your soap plays a significant role in your skin’s quality and health as well. While fragrant hand soaps and dish soaps are commonplace in many homes, these more abrasive soaps can cost you in the long run. Switch to a gentle, natural soap without any fragrance. Milk or soy-based organic soaps will minimize irritation while still working to flush away harmful germs.

If you’re interested in a liquid soap option, try a diluted solution of Dr. Bronner’s or other Castile soaps. There are also some great hydrating hand soaps with moisturizers in their formulas. If you go this route, it’s still essential to apply hand cream afterward.

3. Be Ready, Wherever You Are

Washing and moisturizing your hands shouldn’t be restricted to when you’re in the comfort of your own home. Keeping safe from coronavirus is especially important in public spaces. The more prepared you are, the better. Invest in travel-sized hand sanitizer, gentle soap, and hand cream.

This way, no matter where you find yourself, you’ll be able to wash your hands with confidence. Neutrogena’s Norwegian Hand Cream is an excellent option that’s perfect for storing in your car or bag.

Questions? Call Us

At the Maryland Institute of Plastic Surgery, our number one goal is each patient’s safety. In the office, we are following strict CDC guidelines to ensure a sterile and healthy environment for our staff and clients. We are doing everything we can to provide support and information to our incredible community.

We fully understand that getting used to this new world takes time and that some parts come more natural than others. Washing your hands, while essential, can be abrasive to your skin if mishandled. We hope these tips provide you with some relief and comfort. If you have any further questions or would like personalized advice, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

If you want to learn more about our practice, or any of our non-invasive spa treatments, your next step is to schedule a consultation. To get in touch with our Baltimore, MD office, please give us a call at 410-744-0900 or contact us online today.