Whether you are a healthcare professional, an employee in mass distribution, a parent, a caregiver, or an ordinary citizen, the observation is the same: our hands are roughtest in this period of epidemic. And for good reason, washing them frequently is one of the first recommendations intended for limit the spread of the coronavirus.
If this gesture allows eliminate germs in contact with our skin, it can also promote the appearance of irritant dermatitis. “In addition to being painful, this dermatitis risks interfere with the application of contact precautions, in particular the use of hydro-alcoholic solutions “, explains the French Society of Dermatology (SFD) in a specific document.
Where does irritant dermatitis come from?
Contrary to popular belief, hydroalcoholic geldoes not dry out the skin. “This product contains an emollient, generally glycerin”, explains Brigitte Milpied, dermatologist-allergist at Saint-André hospital in Bordeaux and member of the French Dermatology Society.
The irritation is caused by repeated washing with soap and water, more than ten times a day. The use of bio-cleansers for bare hands, especially bleach and all irritating detergents, is also responsible.
Irritation dermatitis manifests itself as burning sensations, cooking or itching, redness and fine peeling. She often begins to appear son the back of the hands and between the fingers, but can then reach the whole of the hand and the wrist. Once installed, it promotes the secondary appearance of a contact allergy, recalls the SFD.
Expert advice for keeping hands healthy
- To preserve your skin, avoid antiseptic soaps at all costs. Marseille soap, for example, can be irritating with frequent washing. “It is rather advisable to turn to superfatted soaps, more soft, and rinse them well, “recalls the dermatologist.
- Use lukewarm water, and wet your hands before applying a dose of soap. Make sure to rinse them thoroughly, and dry them in dabbing with a clean towel, instead of rubbing.
- For the people wearing gloves, it is recommended to wait until the hands are very dry before putting them on. If possible, also avoid wearing gloves for more than 30 minutes at a time.
- Concerning hydroalcoholic gel, its exclusive use should be limited to care services, as it is more efficient and faster. ‘However, it should be applied to healthy, clean, dry hands. “
- When you are at your home, limit household, DIY, or gardening activities that could damage your hands, and wear gloves if you use irritants.
Apply an emollient cream
Finally, to limit the appearance of a irritation dermatitis, remember to use an emollient cream. Apply it on the back and palms of the hands, the interdigital spaces, the edges of the nails and the wrists.
Brigitte Milpied recommends products from the Bioderma, La Roche-Posay, Uriage, Eucerin, Pierre Fabre and Avène brands. “The essential is always choose dermocosmetic creams, without perfumes or allergens known. ”
When to apply it?
The specialist also advises to apply the cream outside working hours, in the morning, at lunch break and in the evening at bedtime. “Three applications per day are sufficient, and since we use either hydro-alcoholic solutions or we wash our hands often, the cream would not have time to act in the workplace. “If these precautions are not sufficient to limit the symptoms unpleasant, contact a dermatologist.