By now we all know the importance of hand washing to fend off COVID-19 (coronavirus).  But has all this hand washing left you with dry, cracked skin?  The key is to keep your skin hydrated.

  1. Wash your hands with lukewarm water and soap, for at least 20 seconds.  Even if your hands are already dry, continue to wash them to prevent illness by removing harmful viruses and bacteria
  2. Dry your hands with a clean towel, but leave them a little damp. 
  3. While your hands are damp, apply a pea-sized amount of hand CREAM or OINTMENT onto  your skin.  Don’t forget your fingertips and cuticles.
  4. Choose a hand cream or ointment which contains mineral oil, petrolatum, shea butter or coconut oil.  Products which say fragrance-free and dye-free are preferred, as they tend to be less irritating.  A lotion (which comes in a pump bottle) is not as rich, and may contain alcohol which could further dry your hands.
  5. If you can’t access soap and water, use a hand sanitizer which contains at least 60% alcohol.  Allow the hand sanitizer to dry, and then apply moisturizer.

If your skin is moist and free from cracks and fissures, you will be better protected from germs.

This is a great infographic from the American Academy of Dermatology:

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