Certainly, washing hands and wearing face masks are essential steps to prevent COVID-19, “Coronavirus”. But non-systematic use can dry out your skin and cause a rash, for example. So here’s how you can make sure your skin is cared for while following all Covid-19 procedure.
Mayo Clinic Guidelines
“Most people wash their hands or use hand sanitizer frequently these days,” say doctors at the Mayo Clinic International. “Many also wear face masks in public places or during work hours, often for several hours during the day.”
“These measures are essential to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus, but they can irritate and damage your skin. Making some changes in your skincare routine can help protect your hands and face against these effects.”
One of the most important things you can do to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to keep your hands clean and free of germs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
But too much hand washing can strip your hands of their natural oils causing it to dry out, so to prevent skin dryness or chapping, here is what you can do:
- Be gentle on your hands. Use cold or lukewarm water with soap to wash your hands. Hot water is not more beneficial against germs that can make you sick, but it can, however, increase the chances of skin damage.
- Avoid antibacterial cleansers. They are not useful for preventing infectious diseases, and they contain chemicals such as perfumes that can irritate your skin.
- Wear gloves when cleaning to protect your skin. While disinfectants used to clean surfaces are effective against germs, some chemical ingredients in them can be harsh on your hands.
- Moisturizing is important. After washing your hands, rinse them gently and leave them to dry. Immediately after that, put on a lot of moisturizer, and here we recommend the Bath and Body Works moisturizers which you can get cheaper with Bath and Body Works cashback and the exclusive Bath and Body Works coupon code. If your hands continue to dry out after a minute or so, apply more.
As mentioned, use a moisturizer from the Bath and Body Works range of products that are hypoallergenic and free of fragrances and dyes that can irritate your skin. Keep your moisturizer close at hand – by the bathroom and kitchen sinks, in your car, or at your workplace. Make it easy to repeat this important and effective step.
- Combine moisturizers. Sometimes a combination of moisturizers works better, as lightweight creams usually add moisture to the outer layer of the skin, so look for ingredients like urea, glycerin, or hyaluronic acid.
To preserve moisture, follow up with a heavier moisturizer that prevents water loss. Creams containing oil or Vaseline work well. Since heavy moisturizers can be greasy, some people leave a thick layer on their hands covered with cotton gloves overnight.
- Don’t ignore early skin protection. Make sure to moisturize your hands regularly, even if you don’t feel dry or chapped. Preventing skin irritation from developing in the first place is more effective than trying to catch up later when the skin is already cracked.
Many workers in places such as salons, restaurants, retail stores, and in the healthcare field wear masks all throughout their shifts during the Covid-19 pandemic. The CDC recommends wearing cloth masks in public places to help limit the spread of the Coronavirus.
But as useful as it is, using a mask can cause skin rubbing on the bridge of the nose, chin, cheeks, and even behind the ears. Some people get an itch or a rash, and sweaty or moist conditions under the mask can lead to acne and other skin problems.
To reduce the complications of wearing a mask during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Follow a regular skincare routine. Clean and moisturize your face before and after using the mask. Choose products that are labeled ‘Noncomedogenic’ which means that they won’t clog your pores.
However, do not use products that contain Vaseline. Vaseline is a common ingredient in “heavy-duty” creams and ointments, but it can get in the way of the mask’s action, especially the N95 masks used by some healthcare workers. If your skin tends to be oily, choose a water-soluble moisturizer.
- Use a barrier ointment or a bandage. To prevent or relieve skin injuries caused by pressure or friction from masks, a thin layer of zinc oxide can soothe and protect the skin. Zinc oxide is a skin protectant often used for diaper rash or severely chapped skin. Use it on the bridge of your nose or behind your ears.
You can also try placing a bandage between skin pressure points and the mask. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about bandages that provide comfort and fit the skin to allow the appropriate use of the mask.
- Lighten pimples. If a pimple forms, use an antibiotic ointment. Also, use a bandage to create a protective barrier between the blister and the mask.
- Treating acne. If you suffer from acne, cleanse your skin regularly. Use a water-soluble moisturizer. Look for acne treatment products that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Also, avoid squeezing blisters, as this can contribute to the inflammation and infection of the area.
Medical care procedures
Don’t give up on washing hands and wearing masks, as these are highly crucial preventive measures against COVID-19. Meanwhile, taking the steps described above can help protect your skin.
If you develop cracked skin that starts to bleed, or your blisters turn into infected sores, or if you have a serious skin reaction, talk to your doctor immediately. Damaged skin can increase the risk of developing infections and may need more than home care. Treatment may include medications prescribed by your doctor for skin treatments.