Hand sanitizer flew off the shelves at the end of February of this year with the outbreak of COVID-19. It was seen as the best method of defense against any type of germ that you may come into contact with. Hand sanitizer was created in the 1990s as a quick and convenient alternative to soap and water. It is easy to carry in a small bag, leave in your car, or set out on counters. The actual effectiveness of hand sanitizer has been debated for years; yet despite that, it is being used at an extremely high rate in 2020. Whether or not hand sanitizer works as well as people want it to, these products must contain at least 60% alcohol to kill bacteria on the skin.
Alcohol is an effective agent for killing bacteria, but it is incredibly drying to the skin. If you are suffering from cracked hands, peeling skin, or discomfort from using hand sanitizer, keep reading to learn more effective means of eliminating harmful germs and bacteria.
For those with sensitive skin, harsh ingredients such as isopropyl, ethanol, and n-propanol alcohol can be very damaging. These ingredients deplete the skin of oil and acid mantle, which generates cell dehydration. When the cells are not able to hydrate themselves on a consistent basis, they increase your chance of developing contact dermatitis.
Anti-bacterial soap and warm water are more effective than hand sanitizer, but this soap, when used regularly, can also damage the skin. However, anti-bacterial soap does not strip the skin’s oils as quickly. Therefore, it may prove to be a better option for your skin’s health in the long run.
To combat the damaging effects of using hand-sanitizer and repeated hand washing, it is essential that you hydrate your skin by applying a skin moisturizer frequently throughout the day. For those with sensitive skin, or those whose hands are irritated from washing, it is best to choose a fragrance-free lotion or hypoallergenic cream. These are less likely to have any chemicals that will cause an adverse reaction to your skin.
At Medical Dermatology Specialists, Dr. Jamie Weisman specializes in providing customized care for patients’ skin. If you are battling any kind of contact dermatitis or skin condition, contact our practice to schedule an appointment.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Jamie Weisman, Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.
Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.
5730 Glenridge Dr, Suite T-100
Atlanta, GA 30328
Monday – Thursday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM