Covid-19 is damaging your hands. How to prevent it.

| Jun 2, 2020

While hand washing is not a new habit; chances are the frequency and duration of hand washing (or sanitizing) and priority of this formerly blasé daily ritual has spiked significantly since March 2020.

The current hand-washing protocol paired with the frequent application of Hand Sanitizer might be damaging the surface skin of your hands. However, DO NOT STOP washing your hands and being safe, simply learn how to prevent the skin damage.

Why Washing Works?

Hand washing has been and remains the number one mitigating factor in the spread of germs. Soap’s slippery nature is how it works to protect. It literally catches microbes, covers them up, and slides them off your hands.

Once they are off your hands and down the drain – they can’t be transferred onto mucous membranes gain entrance inside the body or linger on physical surfaces for others to pick up.

With SARS-CoV2, soap is particularly effective as the virus is enveloped in a fatty lipid membrane. Soap breaks through this and destroys it; after which the virus becomes ‘inactive’ meaning it can’t replicate or do damage any more. [Source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/12/science-soap-kills-coronavirus-alcohol-based-disinfectants].

As such professional health guidelines recommend that we wash our hands more avidly, consistently and thoroughly as a major prevention tool against the spread of infection. When we can’t wash our hands, it is suggested that we use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Why does skin suffer?

Frequent proper hand washing and sanitizing strips skin of bacteria and germs. Unfortunately, the process also strips healthy oils from the skin too which impairs the skin’s protective functions. Sebum is meant to seal moisture inside skin and keep harmful environmental elements out.

Without it, skin becomes compromised and dries out, loses its elasticity, ages prematurely, and suffers a host of undesirable symptoms. Hand Sanitizers and soaps also change the microflora on the skin; which can easily lead to allergic dermatitis and irritation.

Pair a compromised Skin Barrier (from healthy habits) with our highveld setting; (famous for cold and bitterly dry air in winter) – and it can be a challenge to keep the skin healthy.

Symptoms of Stressed Skin

  • Redness & rashes
  • Irritation or ‘prickly’ feeling
  • Patches of flaky or scaly looking skin
  • Cracks
  • Dryness
  • Itchiness
  • Eczema breakouts
  • Dermatitis

Not only is stressed skin unsightly, it is also uncomfortable and painful.

Prevention Tips

Use Ph balanced soap – Not all soap is of the same quality. Find a pH balanced soap that avoids unnecessary harsh chemicals and fragrances that often exacerbate skin damage.

Avoid hot water – Avoid hot water temperatures as the heat will strip skin oils leading to more damage. While soap may lather slightly better in warm water, hands can also be washed in cool water.

Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise! – The best way to help skin is to replenish moisture directly after hand washing. Avoid greasy moisturisers that do not absorb well – as they complicate life by staining clothing and objects. Rather choose a quality professional product that delivers essential moisture without leaving a sticky residue. After washing hands and drying them completely, rub a small amount of cosmeceutical moisturiser onto the back of hands thoroughly and with attention to in between fingers and the knuckle area; locations where cracks often first appear.

Sandton Aesthetic Institutes’ Recommended Cosmeceuticals:

*The correct product will deliver effective nourishment in small doses.

Note: One can use a heavier moisturiser in the evening before bed. For very thick-textured products; invest in cotton gloves so bedding is not left stained.

What to do when washing your hands is not practical or possible?

Employ the Correct Hand Sanitizer – Hand Sanitizer needs to be formulated scientifically in order to kill germs. Ethyl alcohol and Isopropyl alcohol, in correct strengths, will both kill the Coronavirus.  Hand Sanitizer should not include Methanol Alcohol as it causes serious physical harm and is toxic in even small amounts [Source: https://www.methanol.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Methanol-Safety-During-the-COVID-19-Pandemic-3.pdf]

While approved active ingredients are effective at killing germs, they can wreak havoc on skin. In order to counteract harm; certain moisturising ingredients can be added to the formulation without compromising the products effectiveness.

SAI’s Skin Professionals have created a Hand Sanitizer which sanitizes and moisturises simultaneously. This has been achieved by adding emollients; which replenish moisture within the dermis. SAI offers medical-grade moisturising Hand Sanitizer in three convenient sizes.

Highveld Winter Realities are Harsh for Skin

Winter in the highveld often equals air with an absolute minimum of moisture. So, it is best to aid the skin from head to toe. You can click here to see our winter-suitable June 2020 Specials.

Care for and protect skin through winter with:

  • Seasonably appropriate products
  • Sun protection
  • Healthy skin habits such as avoiding extra hot showers

Maintain glowing skin with:

  • Correct cleansers & moisturisers for Highveld environmental conditions and skin type
  • Prejuvenation Treatments
  • Hyaluronic Acid to build and sustain optimal dermal hydration
  • Treatments that stimulate skin essentials such as Collagen production

Invest in your future with an investment in yourself at SAI

The Professionals at SAI led by renowned Dr Clark are available to assist with your medical aesthetic needs, concerns, and treatments. From atopic dermatitis to anti-ageing procedures; let us help you create, restore, and rejuvenate.

  • Consult with us for personalized advice and treatment plans that will help you stay healthy and confident. Simply click here for our Contact Details.
  • Shop our Online Store & receive free delivery on orders of R650 or more.

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