Our poor, poor hands.
Ever since the coronavirus decided to up the ante and go pandemic earlier this year, we have been informed and encouraged by health officials to go easy on the touching. And by touching, they are referring to the act of touching just about anything using our hands, including our own face.
The reason behind this vital public service announcement is that our hands are one of the main conduits in spreading the coronavirus. We would touch various surfaces and make direct skin contact with others throughout the day without realising the many germs and impurities – and possibly the coronavirus – that can cling on to our hands. One sweet caress of your face with your filthy hands and hello COVID-19.
And that is why we have also been instructed to wash or sanitise our hands frequently to keep them clean and reduce the chances of spreading the coronavirus. But the relentless washing of our hands can lead to dry skin or, even worse, aggravate any dry skin issues that we might previously have as the combination of soap and water strips away the natural oils that protect our skin.
The cracks that form due to the dryness can increase the risk of infections and may even cause other skin conditions such as eczema, which would really be a kick in the teeth what with the coronavirus still running wild. So, what should we do to keep our hands clean and hydrated at the same time? Read on, folks:
Reduce usage of alcohol-based sanitisers
They might help in decreasing the risk of spreading the coronavirus, but alcohol-based sanitisers are the worst culprits for causing dryness and dehydration of the hands. Wash your hands methodically by following the medical guidelines or whenever you think they have been exposed instead.
Switch to a milder soap
Gentler, fragrance-free hand soap will do wonders for your soft, tender hands compared to generic hand soap.
Pat instead of rub
Dry your hands by patting them lightly with a towel. Rubbing them aggressively could cause irritation of the skin.
Moisturise after wash
After you dry your hands, apply irritant-free hand cream or hand balm on your skin to maintain their moisture levels and prevent them from drying up. Make sure to bring your own rather than sharing a hand cream with others to avoid the spreading of germs.
Those who are already suffering from having sensitive skin would do well to wear gloves when they are doing the washing or handling cleaning supplies such as disinfectants.
Give your skin a rest
Apply large amounts of hand cream or Vaseline on your hands during the night-time just before you go to sleep and leave them on to hydrate your skin overnight. For added measure, wear a pair of cotton gloves.