We are all (hopefully) washing our hands more in view of this corona virus pandemic. The thought is that washing our hands will minimize our chances of picking up the virus from objects and then possibly transferring it to our nose and respiratory tract. This all seems reasonable.
I know this blog is about Dr. Julie’s Full and Fun Life. But since I AM a retired dermatologist, I think it might be helpful for me to suggest a few easy tips to make us all safer and healthier
We should all wash our hands more frequently, especially when out and about. We should wash with warm, not hot water and we should wash long enough to sing the whole “Happy Birthday 🎂” song twice before turning off the tap. It’s the time under the tap and the gentle mechanical rubbing together of the soap on our hands under this water that removes the offending germs. We do NOT need to use a harsh soap, and I in fact would instead recommend a mild soap such as Dove or Neutrogena Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser
2. After the above washing, GENTLY pat your hands dry or let them air dry. The reason for gentleness is that we want to keep our skin smooth and intact so it serves as the effective barrier to germs that it was designed to do. If instead you decide to use hand sanitizer, just gently rub it all over both sides of your hands and between your fingers. (Personally I find the soap or liquid cleansers much less drying than hand sanitizers.)
3. Now the critical step is to apply moisturizer or hand cream if you find your hands at all dry after cleaning them. Do this EVERY TIME you wash your hands. Using hand cream will rehydrate and heal any dry skin and protect your skin from further injury. I carry a small tube of Norwegian hand cream in my purse and car. I also have pumps of Vanicream near my kitchen and bathroom sinks.
4. If you’re prone to dry hands or if you now have them from all this washing, use gloves when doing dishes
5. If it’s less than 50 degrees outside where you live, wear gloves when outdoors to protect yourself from the drying effects of the winter air.
6. If you already have some cracks in your fingers, apply a drop of Nexcare Skin Crack Care.This will seal the cut and make your skin a much more effective barrier to germs such as viruses and bacteria.
7. Lastly know that “this too shall pass”. Spring will return, the gardens will bloom, and hopefully soon we’ll all get back to our busy, fun and full lives!
Thanks for reading and please pass this on to anyone that you think will be helped by it!
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