Hand sanitizing and winter weather can cause dry, cracked skin

Written by on December 14, 2020

Hand sanitizing and winter weather can cause dry, cracked skin

By Megan Frank

December 14, 2020

People are washing their hands more than ever to fight the spread of coronavirus. That, coupled with the onset of winter, may cause skin to dry out, itch and crack. WLVR’s Megan Frank rounded up some ways to get a grip on the problem. 

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The CDC says frequent hand washing is one of the best ways to avoid spreading Covid-19. But, a lot of scrubbing and sanitizing may also zap natural oils out of skin.

Dr. Nazanin Saedi  is a dermatologist at Jefferson Health in Philly. She says since the skin acts as a shield protecting the body from germs,  red, sore or cracked skin should not be ignored.

“The problem is that when your hands are dry or cracked, it creates little ports of entry for infection. So, definitely wash your hands, but also use moisturizer to strengthen your skin barrier.”

While scented lotions may smell good, Saedie warns that they can exacerbate skin rashes and dryness.

She says to look for lotions with ingredients like ceramide, glycerin and petroleum jelly that will help skin retain moisture. To see results, she says to apply the lotion one to two times a day for at least a week.

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