Before the outbreak of the Coronavirus, hand sanitizers weren’t as popular as they are now. The media, the government and practically everyone are advocating for the use of hand sanitizers, frequently washing your hands and use of face masks. But even though these things are meant to protect us from greater harm, new conditions are being experienced from their constant use. In a previous article, I discussed Maskne, a new type of acne that is being caused by the use of face masks. And now today, something came up as I was having a discussion with a friend. Some people are seeing their hands peeling more than usual. The cause? Hand sanitizers.
Here’s why your hands are peeling after using sanitizer
Hand sanitizers consist of at least 60 per cent alcohol. Some even go as high as 70 per cent so as to be completely effective against viruses, bacteria and germs.
According to dermatologists, the alcohol in sanitizers unfortunately also affects your skin. The alcohol affects the proteins in viral cells and effectively neutralises them. It strips vital oils from the skin’s surface, leaving the skin’s barrier function impaired. This, in turn, makes your skin vulnerable to irritants, moisture loss and damage. Skin can end up peeling, cracked, inflamed, and any underlying eczema can flare up as well.
What can you do about it?
Use soap instead
Gladly there’s an alternative to using hand sanitizer, which is washing your hands with soap. In fact, washing hands is twice as effective as using hand sanitizer. So, whenever you can wash your hands instead of using hand sanitizer, just do it. Washing for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water is the most effective way of getting rid of germs on your hands, and that includes coronavirus.
Hand sanitizers strip the natural oils that moisturize the skin and that’s why hands end up peeling. If you combine hand sanitizing with washing your hands with soap, you end up having dry hands. To prevent this, doctors are recommending to ensure that at the end of the day before going to bed, you moisturize your hands. Hand lotions and jellies work well to keep your hands moisturized. Even better, to keep your hands moisturized throughout the whole night, purpose to wear gloves in bed.
Carry your own sanitizer
Before getting into practically anywhere, it is required that you sanitize your hand. But, some of the hand sanitizers that may be provided may be too harsh on your skin. That’s why it is recommended that you carry your own hand sanitizer and avoid all the different chemicals in other sanitizers that may then cause your hands to peel.