Washing Hands Often? How to Care for Your Skin

by | Feb 19, 2020 | Primary Care, Uncategorized

Contributed by Noelani González, MD, dermatologist


With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the reported cases of flu on the rise, it is important to practice good hygiene. Most simply, washing your hands regularly with water and soap or with hand sanitizer can decrease your odds of falling ill. However, washing your hands regularly in the winter months can cause extremely dry skin. We asked our resident dermatologist to provide some tips on how to restore the moisture in your hands.

  • When washing hands, avoid hot water. Hot water can cause dryness, which can lead to itching, flaking, and skin inflammation. Instead, try to use warm water to wash your hands.
  • After both hand washing and hand sanitizer, apply a moisturizer immediately. This helps trap and seal the moisture and water particles that remain on your skin after you’ve cleaned your hands. Using a thick cream (these usually come in jars not pumps), or an ointment such as Aquaphor or Vaseline is best in the wintertime. Lotions, which tend to be more watery, don’t do a great job at moisturizing. I know most of us are always on the go, a few creams I recommend keeping in your bag include:
    • Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream
    • Avene Eau Thermal Cold Cream Concentrated Hand Cream
    • Cerave Reparative Hand Cream

If you are experiencing severely dry hands, you could have hand eczema. At times, this can require a prescription medication to help you deal with dryness and flaking. If you are experiencing severe dryness, schedule a dermatology appointment by chatting with a Personal Health Navigator through the member portal or by calling 646.819.5100.

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