How to keep your well-washed hands from skin irritation (according to a dermatology nurse)

By now, we are experts at building up a lather in the basin. But is all the current hand scrubbing takings a toll on your skin? We spoke to Dermatology Nurse Selene Daly, Derma brand ambassador for CarePlus Pharmacy for some top skin tips

We've chosen our favourite 20-second song. Stocked up on soap and are fighting the good fight when it comes to doing our part to battle Covid-19. But for some of us, my own children included, scrubbing our hands red-raw has some undesirable consequences when it comes to our skin. 

And for those of us who suffer from an underlying skin issue such as dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis or take medications which can cause your skin to dry out, there is an added risk of developing a skin condition called irritant contact dermatitis.



Selene Daly shares her advice on maintaining skin integrity during the Covid-19 crisis.

"If your skin becomes red, painful, itchy and broken you may find it difficult to practice hand hygiene correctly.  Broken skin can also led to skin infections.

When washing your hands use a fragrance preservative free hand wash.  Your water should be lukewarm not hot. Blot your hands dry with paper towels particularly if you live with other people as ordinary towels can carry viruses and bacteria


Where possible, use oil based moisturisers and ointments to rehydrate your skin and apply regularly during the day. I’m practicing a night time regiment the moment that I’ve called my ‘Covid night time Hand Care Routine.’ The last thing I do after cleansing and brushing my teeth is to wash my hands with a gentle cleanser, apply copious amounts of moisturiser and slip on a pair of cotton gloves. 



In the morning time peel off the gloves and machine wash them. This process will help to repair and rehydrate skin that has been dehydrated over the day.

Use cotton gloves under rubber gloves when carrying out housework and when washing hair. 

If you have particularly bad irritation on the skin on your hands, even get someone to wash your hair for you. Shampoos and conditioners can irritate dry broken hands. When peeling and chopping vegetables use cotton gloves with disposable vinyl gloves over.  

Avoid unnecessary irritation

Try to wear as little hand jewellery as possible.  Water can become trapped under rings and cause irritation.  Jewellery can also trap bacteria and viruses.

And don’t hand wash dishes or clothes (as if you needed an excuse). Instead use dishwashers and the washing machine for everything. 


If you must hand wash dishes use a long handled sponge to avoid immersing your hands in water.  Better yet, get the kids involved in house work to keep them busy during social distancing."

Remember to visit to get more information on hand washing and ways to prevent Covid-19 transmission.

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