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“Out, damn’d spot! out, I say! (Lady Macbeth- William Shakespeare)

The coronavirus outbreak has, among other things, forced us all to face a jarring reality. Most of us (not pointing fingers, men) are not washing our hands correctly. Washing for 20 seconds is one of the easiest lines of defense against COVID-19, according to the CDC and basically everyone you know. Right now my hands are stinging from the constant washing.

More time scrubbing means fewer germs on the skin’s surface, but it also can lead to dryness, cracking and discomfort. It’s important to understand that keeping your hands moisturized is not sheerly for comfort ― it actually is a necessary step in keeping your hands safe and sanitized. “Washing and using hand sanitizer will eventually dry out the skin, make it feel itchy and eventually lead to a cracked, painful, eczematous rash,” says New York-based dermatologist Jessica Krant. “This is actually evidence of a damaged skin barrier, the opposite of protective. We really need to wash germs off with soap and water, but also moisturize to prevent that process from damaging our safety barrier.”

Having cracked skin from excessive hand-washing can be dangerous, according to  Dr. Craig Shapiro, “If the skin is breaking down or raw, then the soap and alcohol disinfectants do not work as well,” he said, adding that dry, itchy and uncomfortable skin could stop people from wanting to wash. “People can be less likely to wash their hands to prevent transmission of germs and infection.”  The top three moisturizers are all available at the grocery or drug store. So, the best protocol is to soap up, wash 20 seconds and then apply a hand cream.

Neutrogena Hand Cream

Concentrated and doesn’t feel greasy- quite a few good reviews.

Eucerin Hand Cream

Another favorite, but not as thick at the Neutrogena cream.

Aquaphor or Vaseline

I love Aquaphor , but it is greasy and would best work at nighttime.

Do you have a favorite hand lotion or cream?


Adapted from The HuffPost

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