The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) breaks down the science of hand washing and why it works for preventing the spread of illness.
Throughout your average day there are several times you should be washing your hands:
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick
- After using the restroom, changing a diaper, or handling pet waste
- After handling pets or their food
- After touching garbage
During times of a pandemic, like COVID-19, you should also be sure to cleanse hands after being in public spaces and touching surfaces that may have been touched by others, such as gas pumps, door handles, or shopping carts.
With so much hand washing going on in recent months, you may have notice that you skin has become dry and cracked. Use these tips from a board-certified dermatologist to keep your hands soft and healthy!
How to prevent hands from cracking and staying hydrated:
- Moisturize one to two times a day with a cream such as Cerave Cream or Aveeno Eczema Cream
Choosing a fragrance-free formula is also a good idea.
- It is generally best to opt for cleansers that only have gentle ingredients.
- Neutrogena Hydroboost Gel prevents dryness without clogging pores and absorbs into the skin quickly without leaving any residue and is perfect for year-round use.
- Avoid antibacterial soap, which can be drying. Unless you're instructed to use antibacterial soap for medical reasons, then just use the regular stuff instead.
- I don’t think you can use too many products as they will all be absorbed into your skin.
- Other products can be added to target specific concerns, like benzoyl peroxide or salicylic acid for acne, or hyaluronic acid for irritation or dryness.
Advice for strengthening your nails:
- Wear gloves when hand washing dishes or cleaning.
- Do not use antibacterial soap.
- Moisturize cuticles with Aquaphor, Vaseline or CND Solar Oil.
- DermaNail Conditioner – use twice a day; Helps dry, brittle nails.
- Biotin – a vitamin which accelerates nail growth (My favorite is vitafusion Gummies for Hair, Skin, and Nails because it contains a good amount of Biotin and is also a multivitamin.)
- Keep nails short; file nails gently; avoid nail trauma (such as using them to open packages or remove lids from cans).
- For soft nails – use Nailtiques 2 Plus Lacquer or Sally Hansen Advanced Hard as Nails Strengthener
- Use nail polish remover that does not contain acetone.
Visit the CDC for more tips on proper hand washing techniques.