Most people are washing their hands or using hand sanitizer more frequently these days. Many are also wearing face masks when in public or during work shifts, often for hours at a time.
These measures are key to reducing the spread of the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). But they can irritate and damage your skin. Making a few skin care changes for your hands and face can help counteract these effects.
Be gentle on your hands. Use cool or lukewarm water with soap to wash your hands. Hot water isn't any more helpful against germs that can make you sick. And hot water can increase skin damage.
Avoid antibacterial cleansers. They aren't that useful for preventing infectious disease. And they contain chemicals such as fragrance that can irritate skin.
Moisturize, moisturize. After washing your hands, gently rinse and pat them dry. Right after, apply plenty of moisturizer. If your hands still feel dry after a minute or so, apply more.
Many workers in places such as salons, restaurants, retail stores and in health care wear masks throughout their shifts during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC recommends wearing cloth masks in public to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus by people who have COVID-19 but don't realize it.
Adopt a regular skin care routine. Cleanse and moisturize your face before and after using a mask. Choose products labeled "noncomedogenic," which means they won't clog skin pores.
You can also try placing a bandage between the skin pressure points and the mask. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about bandages or dressings that provide cooling relief and conform to the skin while still allowing for appropriate mask use.
Treat acne. If you develop acne, cleanse your skin regularly. Use a water-soluble moisturizer. Look for acne treatment products that contain benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid. Also, avoid popping or squeezing pimples, which can contribute to inflammation and infection of the area.
BDST: 1715 HRS, AUG 29, 2020