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How to care for overwashed dry hands

How To Care for Overwashed Dry Hands

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Our new normal after almost a year amid a pandemic involves washing our hands multiple times a day, which is essential to stay safe. Lasting Impressions Medical Spa wants to share some tips on helping you cope with the side effects of so much hand washing.

Unfortunately, washing your hands so often can lead to dry, itchy, red, painful skin on your hands.

According to UCLA Health: “Ironically, by over-washing our skin, we can develop dry cracks in the skin, giving bacteria an entry point into our bodies.”

Therefore, you should consider the following advice to help care for your skin and keep it from becoming too chapped (While continuing to wash and sanitize your hands frequently).

Use gentle soaps.

Some soaps are harsher than others, especially if you’re using dish soap or laundry soap instead of soaps that are actually meant for the skin.

Also, alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be especially harsh and drying on your skin.

You can use a gentle soap and still get rid of germs and microbes if you wash your hands thoroughly and long enough creating the right friction. 

Some people think that the thicker the more lather the better, however,​ you shouldn’t apply so much soap that you create a thick layer of soapy bubbles. This strips away the skin’s natural oils along with the dirt and bacteria that collect on the hand. Apply enough soap to cover the hands, and clean them. 

Use the right temperature.

Wash your hands with warm, rather than super hot water that can end up over-drying the skin. 

Use a comfortable lukewarm water temperature, that’s not excessively hot or cold.

Pat your hands dry.​ 

Rubbing your hands with a towel after washing is the worst thing you can do if your hands are already sensitive.

Pat your hands dry to avoid any unnecessary irritation to your skin.

Apply hand cream.

Keep a bottle of hand cream or moisturizer near at all times, and make sure to carry an extra small one with you when you go out so that you can combat dryness immediately after washing your hands.

While your hands are still a little bit damp, apply the moisturizer. That will help you to seal that water into the skin and keep your skin extra soft.

Wet skin generally transfers germs more easily than dry hands, nevertheless, this shouldn’t be an issue, as long as you have a little time to let the lotion dry before you touch anything dirty or communal (most hand creams absorb incredibly quickly, often leaving your hands dry within 10 to 15 seconds).

If you just hate that greasy feeling on your hands while you’re busy during the day, you can use something even more occlusive at night, like Vaseline with gloves on top and have hydrated hands the next day. 

Choose good quality products. 

Often, scented hand creams and moisturizers ​further aggravate​ sensitive skin. Try an unscented moisturizer instead, or one scented with top quality ingredients. 

Hand creams containing ingredients like ceramides, petrolatum, and dimethicone, will seal the hydration in your skin, and avoid irritation. Also, humectant ingredients, like hyaluronic acid or glycerin, will help add an extra boost of water to your skin.

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