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Caring For Your Hands

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As the Coronavirus pandemic continues, we all find ourselves washing our hands and using sanitizer more than ever. While this is necessary and important to do, it can also leave our hands vulnerable to damage and contact dermatitis. 

When we overwash our hands and use alcohol based sanitizers (Again - something we MUST do right now for the good of public health), our hands become stripped of essential oils and its barrier function becomes compromised. What does that mean? It means that the first line of protection between our body and the elements is significantly damaged or it disappears all together.

This barrier function keeps external invaders out - everything from water, to pollution, to viruses and bacteria. The hands become cracked and flaky, fissures form. It is painful and dangerous to our bodies. While you can't get coronavirus through a breakdown in the barrier function, you can get other localized infections which will compromise your overall immune system.

So, how do we stop this from happening? That part is easy. Oils and lotions. I like using both as they work in different ways on the skin.

Using almond, apricot kernel, or even olive oil on your hands will help restore lipids to your skin. You only need apply a small amount. If your hands feel greasy, you've used too much. Focus on your fingertips, nail beds, and palms, as these are the areas that become driest and are most likely to crack.

Several times a day (and especially after washing) use a good hand cream. Since contact dermatitis is a serious threat right now, we recommend choosing one that is fragrance free. Our top choice is Aveeno Skin Relief Hand Cream, which can be purchased at drugstores, groceries, or online. In addition to being emollient without feeling heavy or greasy, it contains colloidal oatmeal, which is an effective anti-inflammatory and noted skin soother.

If you have any questions about skin health during this difficult time, please reach out to Liz at liz@thegildedgirl.com
She is happy to answer any questions you have about your skin and keeping it healthy!

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  • Elizabeth Quesnelle
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