While most of you are washing your hands a lot more to prevent transmission of Coronavirus (which is good) what you may not know is that it can cause your skin to dry out leading to cracks and openings in the skin that can actually increase your risk for infection (which is bad).
So what can you do? MOISTURIZE!!!!
1) Using moisturizers that hold in the moisture are your best bet. Skipping the light water based lotions and going with heavier oil based creams, ointments and butters that provide a thicker protectant layer is the way to go.
2) Applying a moisturizer while your hands are still slightly damp from washing ensures the moisturizer gets adequately absorbed. Using a “humectant” alpha hydroxyl acid moisturizer like AM Lactin will allow the water to actually be “held in” to the skin.
3) For severely dry chapped hands, I recommend a heavier petrolatum ointment based moisturizer like Aquaphor or Vaseline. These are really greasy but are the mother of all moisturizers because they lock everything in! Best used in the evening before bedtime and applied with cotton glove occlusion over night. In the morning you will wake up with soft silky smooth hands.
4) If you’re a health care professional like I am and are washing your hands multiple times per day between each patient, it’s best to use a barrier type moisturizer like Gloves in a bottle, which has a special dimethicone base that forms a delicate protective barrier on the skin, keeping oils and moisture sealed into the skin and bacteria and other germs out!.
5) Finally, for those with dry sensitive skin, I recommend a moisturizer that is free of detergents, fragrance & dyes. Products like Vanicream, Cerave and Cetaphil are all good choices. They have a nice “cosmetically elegant” base that blends right in to the skin and doesn’t leave a greasy residue.
So now that you’ve gotten into the routine of washing your hands more frequently why not take that second step to moisturize and really seal the deal?! Hope this was helpful info!