The pandemic that we have been experiencing for more than 6 months now has transformed our daily lives with the implementation of important health measures: social distancing, wearing a mask and washing your hands several times a day. As a result: many of us have dry or chapped hands. To avoid this consequence, here is another gesture to be integrated into our sanitary routine that should not be neglected: hydration.
The Skin, a Natural Barrier
The skin is a natural protective barrier, however, frequent use of hand hygiene products such as soaps and other detergents can cause irritation. Damaged skin (including cuticles) provides a breeding ground for microorganisms and infections. The discomfort and pain caused by irritated or chapped hands can also discourage people from practicing good hand hygiene.1 Yet even if our hands begin to get dry and chapped from frequent hand washing, we should not stop washing our hands.
Recommendations for Hand Hygiene
The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends regular hand washing, especially before eating, after using the bathroom, after blowing your nose, after wiping your nose, after touching soiled tissues and after sneezing into your hands, and before visiting someone who is sick or less able to fight off an infection. It is also recommended that you spend 20 seconds soaping your hands and don’t leave any corners untouched (by rubbing the soap under your fingernails, around your knuckles and between your fingers).2
Tips for Reducing Hand Washing Discomfort3
– Use soap and water instead of hand sanitizer whenever possible.
– Even if it gets cold outside, use warm (not hot) water to wash hands.
– Use unscented soap.
– Dry your hands by dabbing them with a towel rather than rubbing them, making sure they are completely dry.
– Wear gloves when cleaning and disinfecting the house, gardening, or performing any other task that exposes hands to friction or skin irritants.
Pay Extra Attention to Dry and Damaged Hands
Keeping skin healthy and hydrated is important. Moisturization helps improve and maintain the health of the hands, as well as prevent skin irritation and reduce the presence of microorganisms.1
– Moisturize hands regularly, ideally after each wash, with a fragrance-free hand cream.
– Cotton gloves can also be worn at night after applying moisturizer.
– Use Calendula Cream: Discover our tips for the proper use of Calendula Cream: External use only. Thoroughly cleanse irritated skin (erythema | dry patches | cracked or chapped skin) with soap and water. Gently massage the affected area twice a day or as recommended by a health care practitioner. Calendula Cream is a non-greasy, fragrance-free and paraben-free cream.
– In the presence of cracks, superficial wounds or redness? Think of Cicadermine to relieve skin and nasal mucous membrane irritations! This homeopathic medicine does not contain paraben and promotes healing.