COVID Safety Precautions That Can Affect Your Skin

You’ve heard us say this once or twice or more like a bajillion times . . . your skin is important!

It is, after all, your body’s largest organ and protects everything underneath it. Taking care of it, especially during a time when COVID-19 a top priority, is something you should do and can do – thanks to Midwest Dermatology.

Frequent Hand Washing Leads to Dry, Cracked Skin

World Hand Hygiene Day is May 5. Seriously, who knew there was a special day for this?  But with COVID-19 lurking out there, we are all washing our hands frequently – so much so that the skin on people’s hands is becoming damaged.

Unfortunately, frequent hand washing strips your skin of natural oils and soap can irritate. But here are some easy tips to protect your hands while maintaining good personal hygiene.

Avoid hot water. Warm water with soap will do the trick. Lather for 20 seconds and rinse well.

Moisturize in between washes. You might not know that it’s best to apply moisturizer to damp skin, not dry skin. So have your favorite product handy – we love Elta MD So Silky Hand Crème – and apply liberally.

Avoid lotions with added fragrances, or drying ingredients such as isopropyl alcohol.  Instead, look for ingredients like glycerin and mineral oil.

Use hand sanitizer as a back-up, for when soap and water are not readily available. But make sure it’s the real deal; you need 60% alcohol to kill the germs. Which brings us back to the fact that hand sanitizer is drying, too, so don’t forget to moisturize in between!

Ignore any reports about lotions ruining hand washing. That crazy internet! There are reports out there that lotions and creams used to moisturize your hands will render your hand washing ineffective. Ignore that nonsense. You heard it here.

If your hands are really raw and cracked from washing them so much, you might want to see your Midwest Dermatology physician for treatment with prescription medication.  Click here for appointment options.

Face Masks and Breakouts

Whether you’re an essential worker or a grocery store shopper, people are helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 by covering their faces with masks and bandanas.

However, wearing face coverings for prolonged periods of time may result in trapped bacteria, which can cause flare-ups of acne and dermatitis around the mouth.

To prevent this secondary condition, gently cleanse the skin after wearing a mask. Also, wash your cloth mask daily (or replace it if you are wearing a disposable one).

Another tip? Avoid wearing makeup and or moisturizing lotions unless they are clearly labeled as “non-comedogenic.” This means they don’t, and they won’t, cause acne.

If you have a breakout, consider seeing your Midwest Dermatology physician using our new telehealth option. Or call us for a safe visit in the office. We are standing by to help.

Midwest Dermatology strongly advocates the use of these safety precautions as we battle a pandemic that poses a serious threat to our health and safety.  We urge our readers to follow hand washing guidelines and to wear a face covering AT ALL TIMES when in public.