Let's get into it. Below are 6 tips and answers to some of your top queries and questions regarding your skin and COVID-19.
1. How do I cope with dry irritated hands form vigilant hand washing required during the COVID-19 Pandemic?
Handwashing with foaming, soap-based products, strips away the oils on your skin that form a part of our natural barrier.
But you’re also exposing your skin to things that are irritants to it too. Like ethanol alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, these are ingredients found in hand sanitisers.
This increases the risks of itching, peeling, dermatitis, and irritation.
Scaling back on handwashing during a pandemic isn’t the answer though ー taking precautionary measures is.
Tip: apply an emollient to your skin that builds and protects your barrier, better known as a moisturizer.
It’s important to use something that works well.
Choose a moisturiser that comes in a JAR over a pump. A moisturiser that comes in a jar tends to be thicker and cream like with less water and more moisturiser. In contrast a lotion is more water-based and less hydrating ingredients.
If it is tolerated, something greasy, like white petrolatum or Vaseline, works even better. I’m a lover of emulsifying ointment mixed with 10% glycerine.
I also love Neutrogena Norwegian formula hand cream. Loaded in glycerine, this is a winner.
To give your hands that extra healing boost, apply Neutrogena Norwegian formula hand cream at night or immediately after your shower. Then put wet cotton gloves over the top and leave on for 30-60 minutes. This is like doing an intensive hydrating mask for your hands.
I think moisturising on a regular basis is the most important thing you can do right now to protect your hands in this pandemic.
2. The perfect manicure for COVID: In short, keep your nails short!
Tip: keep your nails short and get rid of your “fake” or acrylic nails. It is impossible to keep long nails clean and free of viral particles. Having them is putting you and your loved ones at COVID-19 risk.
Keep your nails clean and short so that when you are washing your hands you can get potential viral particles out!
Long nails and acrylic nails provide a perfect environment / Petri dishes for COVID-19 to cohabitate……Not the kind of neighbour you want hanging around!
3. What to do when Masks meddle with your face?
A recent study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology found that 97% (526/542) of front line Chinese healthcare workers had skin damage due to long periods of wearing N95 masks and goggles. The most common symptoms were dryness, redness and skin peeling, affecting areas such as the bridge of the nose, cheeks, and forehead.
Tip: If you are having to wear PPE gear for long periods, like healthcare workers, when you finish your shift put on thick repairing type moisturisers like lanolin, white petrolatum, like Vaseline, or the Neutrogena Norwegian formula hand cream. These will repair, rehydrate and soothe your skin and help repair the barrier. If you have signs of chaffing and irritation, you can get some over the counter 1% hydrocortisone ointment and apply over the top.
Avoid cleansing your face with foaming cleansers. Keep it gentle. Our DrNC concentrated cleanser is perfect.
4. Could you lose your hair with COVID?
A: Potentially. As a result of a condition known as telogen effluvium. Stressful events can create hair loss as a result of switching your hairs out of being active and growing and switching into the resting phase. This can cause a diffuse loss of hair, similar to the pattern seen in women after they give birth. The good news is this type of hair loss generally grows back.
5. Is hand sanitiser better than soap and water hand washing for COVID?
The simple answer is NO. In fact, soap and water may be better.
The virus has an oil-based wall; therefore, soap breaks the oil down, breaking the viral particles apart and killing it.
The advantage of alcohol-based hand sanitisers is that they can be easier to access and you don’t need water. You can carry a handy-sized one in your bag and your car and access it at any time.
6. Tips to protect yourself from catching COVID in the supermarket.
As the social restrictions continue one of our biggest risk exposures is going to the supermarket. So here are my tips to protect you from COVID-19 while you shop:
- Always have a hand sanitiser in your pocket/bag and in your car.Apply before entering the supermarket.
- Apply to the handlebar on the trolley before you start pushing it around.
- Many supermarkets have hand towels and sanitiser at the entrance. So put a few pumps onto the towelette and wipe it all over the trolley handlebar.
- Don’t touch your face while you are in the supermarket and touching different products and produce.
- Stay away from people where you can. Keep your distance. Stick to a 2-metre rule. Be aware of your personal space. This can take a little bit of retraining.
- Once you checkout, redo your hands with your sanitiser.
- Once you get your goods into your car, apply the sanitiser again to your hands. Remember the virus can live on surfaces for variable amounts of time so the more you can keep cleaning your hands every time you touch something the safer you will be.
- When you get home, wash your hands upon entering your place. I have a sanitiser pump at the entrance in my hallway. I, then, bring my goods into the kitchen, then wash my hands again.
- Wipe down all goods before you put them away and wash your fruit and veg. Then wash your hands again.
- Throw out any unnecessary packaging immediately!
- Then treat your little hands to some soothing moisturiser!!!
A final Word:
I hope this has been of some help to abate your COVID fears and keep you safe.
Remember the virus can’t survive by itself, it needs you and your cells to replicate. It also needs YOU to allow it to get into your nose/airways. It can’t jump off surfaces into your nose or mouth.
So, the best thing you can do is continuously wash your hands, keeping them virus-free and keeping yourself safe. Disposing of all packing you bring into your home immediately and clean any new goods before you put them away.
Wishing you and your loved ones a safe journey through these difficult and challenging times.