Hand Dermatitis from Increased Washing

Dry, cracked hands are uncomfortable, interfere with daily life, predispose us to infection and are becoming more common during the Covid-19 pandemic due to increased handwashing. Here are some suggestions to help you prevent and treat irritant hand dermatitis at home.  

1. Use Gentle Cleansers - Choose mild cleansers such as CeraVe or Cetaphil.  These are formulated for sensitive, eczema prone skin and they should help combat dryness without further irritating your hands.  It is not necessary to scrub or use harsh soaps as long as you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds each time.

2. Apply a moisturizer -  Immediately after washing, apply a thick moisturizer. Look for formulas that contain ceramides, shea butter or aloe. Moisturizers such as CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion, Eucerin Eczema Relief Creme or Lipikar Balm by La Roche-Posay are some favorites. Additionally, if you don’t mind sleeping with white cotton gloves on, put a thick layer of cream on your hands and pull them on at bedtime.

3. Wear gloves -  When working around the house or during heavy cleaning, think about wearing protective gloves. Look for rubber gloves with a cotton lining. Always remove gloves if the inside gets wet to prevent chemicals and moisture from causing more irritation to your skin.

4. Finally, call us at Skin Solutions Dermatology if you can’t manage your dermatitis at home. We can prescribe medication to soothe red, cracked or inflamed hands. Our providers can help determine if you have another condition such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis or allergic contact dermatitis.

We are currently offering Televisit appointments for patients who are sick or feel most comfortable staying at home. Please visit our website for more information about how you can book your virtual visit today!

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Dr Pena

About The Author

Dr. Pena is a Board-Certified Medical Dermatologist, Mohs skin cancer surgeon, and cosmetic dermatologist. Her mission is to educate the diverse patient populations she serves, and their communities, on the importance of skin care in decreasing the risk of skin cancer and minimizing the early signs of aging. She founded Skin Solutions Dermatology with numerous clinics in Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding Middle Tennessee.

Dr. Julia Pena, MD

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