Frequent Handwashing Causing Irritating Cracks and Dryness? You Can Prevent Dry Skin

Woman washing hands in sink

In the earliest stages of the Coronavirus pandemic, as the outbreak took hold of the U.S., public health officials proclaimed the importance of frequent and sustained handwashing. It was a public service announcement, heard on repeat.

Everyone from health care professionals to the general public knows too well that increased handwashing causes dry skin and variations of dermatitis. Handwashing can become uncomfortable, making your skin feel tight or even painful. Cleansers are designed to remove oily dirt, but at the same time remove some essential natural oils called lipids from the skin. The application of hand sanitizers exacerbates the situation. Alcohol sanitizers are effective at reducing germs but pull the much-needed lipids from your skin. Specific lipids are key components in your skin’s natural protective barrier. Your skin’s primary responsibility is to provide a barrier to keep toxins out and moisture in. The good news is that even though keeping our hands clean is a must, painful cracked hands can be avoided.

The Right Cream Can Help

Creams or lotions are intended to provide lipids and moisture to your skin. It is best to look for a topical cream or lotion specifically designed to provide support and restoration of your skin barrier.

We obviously recommend our MG217 Eczema Creams. Our MG217 Eczema Body and Baby creams are designed to treat the worst dry skin and its causes. The key lipids in your skin barrier are ceramide, cholesterol, and palmitic acid in a precise ratio. Together these form the glue that binds your skin cells together into a protective barrier. Our Eczema Cream includes a micro-encapsulated cocktail of these lipids in a form that is delivered deep into the skin surface for incorporation into the skin structure.

But if you want to shop around and compare alternatives, here are some tips:

  • Look for products indicating barrier repair and read the ingredient list. You want to see three key ingredients: ceramide, cholesterol, and palmitic acid.
  • Colloidal oatmeal is a key ingredient that is an effective skin protectant.
  • Allantoin is an FDA-approved skin protectant.
  • Panthenol (pro-vitamin B5) deeply penetrates the skin to moisturize and promote healing.
  • Glycyrrhizic acid or one of its salt forms is a powerful non-steroidal anti-itch component derived from licorice root.

After using a hand sanitizer, you will want to use a restorative cream with each application. Hand sanitizer and nourishing cream work well together as a two-pronged approach keeping your hands clean while replenishing protective lipids. Apply hand cream as needed.

But I Don’t Have Eczema…

Did you know that eczema is not a singular health condition? It represents one embodiment of a group of skin conditions. Common, irritated skin can have the same symptoms and treatments as clinically diagnosed eczema. In fact, irritated skin and eczema could be thought of as being on different ends of the same spectrum of skin conditions.

If you haven’t been diagnosed with eczema, but you are suffering from dry, cracked, red skin, it is safe and appropriate to use over-the-counter eczema solutions. The properties in creams that are most effective for treating eczema are exceptionally helpful for treating skin that is irritated from repeated soap washing and drying alcohol sanitizers. Eczema cream may be your secret weapon when it comes to keeping your hands hydrated now more than ever.