Hand dermatitis occurs for many reasons and is commonly seen in certain professions that have an increased exposure to water or chemicals (healthcare workers, daycare providers, mechanics, etc.) or in colder climates. However, we are now seeing many more patients with hand dermatitis due to increased frequency of hand washing, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are some tips to help you prevent or treat dry, irritated, and itchy hands caused by hand washing.
- Take your rings off when washing your hands. Trapped soap under rings can cause irritation. Wash with lukewarm water, using a mild soap (like Dove, CeraVe, or Cetaphil). Avoid dish detergent and harsh soaps (such as Dial and Ivory). If you must wash dishes, wear protective gloves. Dish soaps are extremely hard on the skin.
- Gently blot dry, then moisturize with a thick cream or ointment immediately after washing hands. We recommend using Neutrogena Norwegian Hand Cream, Vanicream, CeraVe cream, white petrolatum or Aquaphor. This is the most important time to apply your moisturizer.
- If your hands are already dry and irritated, you may try applying a thick moisturizer, then immediately cover with white cotton gloves. Sometimes, leaving gloves on overnight can be helpful.
If your dry skin does not respond to self-care measures, come see one of the skin experts at Dermatology Associates of Lincoln. We make Your skin OUR mission! Call 402-413-7460 to make your appointment today.