Dialog Box

Skin Health Institute

How to stop hand washing drying out your skin

Dry hands from all that extra hand-washing? President of the Skin Health Institute, Associate Professor Rosemary Nixon AM, and Associate Professor Greg Goodman explain why it happens, and what you can do to prevent it, in an article published by the ABC online - see here.

They discuss why your hands dry out, use of liquid or bar soaps, when to use liquid sanitisers, and potential allergens.

The article says Assoc Professor Nixon recommends "using a light lotion through the day if your hands are dry or irritated, and using a cream or ointment at night to give your hands time to repair."

"Don't chose the one with fragrance and essential oils because they're extra things that can cause allergies," she says. 

Runny oils don't tend to work very well at hydrating the skin, Dr Nixon says.

Dr Goodman says to avoid recontaminating your hands with a virus after you've washed them, don't share moisturisers with others and only touch the container after you've washed your hands.

"If you notice your hands are getting inflamed, itchy and irritated, see a doctor or dermatologist," the article says.

Healthcare Workers

Healthcare workers can find more information about keeping their skin healthy at our Healthy Skin for Healthcare Workers page. This resource explores common skin irritations that often arise in the workplace, and includes information on how to treat and prevent these conditions.  

See also

My skin’s dry with all this hand washing. What can I do? Article in The Conversation, by A/Prof R Nixon AM and Dr Celestine Wong, 14 Apr 2020.

25 March 2020
Category: News
Tags: coronavirus, covid-19, dry skin, hand hygiene, hand washing,