From crowd sourcing ideas to showing off photos of kids and pet to discovering new recipes, social media offers a lot of value during our time in quarantine, especially in the ways it helps keep us connected. But social can also cause a lot of confusion when you read differing reports about how best to keep the health of you and your family safe. Our Wilsonville skin doctors agree with recommendations made by the CDC that advocate for frequent and thorough hand washing.
Guidelines established by the CDC recommend washing your hands and applying sanitizer regularly, especially after touching any publicly used surface. The CDC then recommends washing your hands for at least 20 seconds – that means a full 20 seconds with soap and water. Research suggests that washing for any less time won’t provide the protection required to eliminate any potentially harmful germs.
20 Seconds, 20 Times a Day – That’s a Lot of Washing
The amount of time your hands will spend soaking in foaming agents, covered in alcohol, and stripped clean from the application of harsh synthetic chemicals over the coming months will no doubt help to keep you healthy, but the process will also prove quite detrimental to the health of your hands.
Repeatedly washing and sanitizing your hands can cause some serious discomfort, especially when regularly using sanitizers comprised of at least 60 percent alcohol. That kind of frequent exposure could cause your hands to become dry, cracked, and chafed. Unfortunately, in addition to the discomfort chapped hands cause, the cracks that develop can facilitate an even more aggressive spread of germs, including COVID-19. By repeatedly washing your hands, you strip away the natural oils of the skin, which not only keeps them feeling soft, but works as a barrier that prevents the accumulation of germs.
Treating Your Hands with Facial Care
For most of us, we tend to pay more attention to the type of products we use on our faces than we do our hands. However, many of us may also be surprised to learn that the only difference between most face and hand wash is the way they are marketed. In other words, the chemicals and compounds found in most facial washes are just as effective at eliminating germs as those found in hand soap.
While both types of wash can kill germs, many types of facial wash also include compounds that help to keep the skin from drying out. By using a facial wash to keep your hands clean, you can successfully eliminate germs while prevent your hands from becoming dry and cracked. After all, the softer the skin on your hands remain, the less your chances of picking up unwanted germs becomes.
Don’t Just Wash, Moisturize as Well
With chapped hands increasing your risk for picking up unwanted germs, keeping your hands moisturized is nearly as important as keeping them clean. When chapped and broken, the ability of sanitizers and soaps to properly clean your hands is also lessened. Additionally, cracks in your hands make them more susceptible to infection due to the break that occurs in the skin barrier. While COVID needs to enter the body through the mouth to infect an individual, any type of open wound is invitation enough for germs to enter the body.
By moisturizing your hands after washing, you can decrease the risk of picking up germs while still keeping your hands soft and moist. If your hands look dry and rough, you are washing them too frequently without keeping them properly hydrated. Begin using moisturizers more frequently, and you should start to see an immediate improvement.
One more tip from our Wilsonville skin doctors, try to avoid using greasy skin creams that can make typing on a keyboard or smartphone a real pain if you need to work from home