Thorough handwashing is the one habit we should never give up, even with the continued decline in COVID-19 cases. It fares better than using alcohol and sanitizer, especially in removing all dirt, germs, and chemicals. It is also the best thing you can do to avoid spreading germs and protect yourself and others from infectious diseases.
The thing with handwashing, however, is that it can lead to dry and irritated skin if you do it multiple times daily. And while it is important to practice this habit throughout the day, it also doesn’t have to wreak havoc on your skin. Making a few tweaks helps, like using the right products during and after washing your hands.
If your hands and fingernails have dried out due to excessive hand washing, here are a few tips on caring for them.
Use cool or lukewarm water
When washing your hands, avoid hot water, which is more likely to dry the skin. Repeatedly washing in water that’s too hot could also lead to irritated and damaged skin. Stick with cool or lukewarm water, which is also effective in removing dirt and germs without drawing too much moisture out of your hands.
Wash with gentle soaps
You don’t necessarily have to use harsh or antibacterial soaps when thoroughly washing your hands. Regular soaps work fine too, but if you have dry skin, switch to gentler, milder, or moisturizing soaps. Just make sure not to use too much of it, as it can extract natural oils from your skin.
Another tip: Consider having two types of hand wash. When you’re just at home (with no risk of any infection), use a soap substitute like an aqueous cream. If you, however, come in from outside, use a soap-based formula to wash your hands.
Dry your hands (pat, don’t rub)
After washing, gently blot your hands dry or pat them instead of rubbing. This prevents unnecessary friction, which is also helpful in preventing dryness and irritation. It is also better to use paper towels or clean cloth towels instead of hand dryers, as the hot air can have a drying effect on your skin.
Apply hand creams or moisturizers after washing your hands. Do so when your hands are still damp to lock in moisture and prevent more water loss. Just make sure to avoid those with fragrances, particularly if you have dry and irritated skin. In most cases, it is better to use a cream that you like how it feels, so you’ll actually use it
If you, on the other hand, have very dry or cracked skin, greasy formulas fare better at hydrating your hands. The sad part is they can be oily or too messy for work. In cases like these, you may consider lightweight formulas but still have moisturizing ingredients like avocado, shea butter, or jojoba oil.
Treat your hands at night
Dealing with oily or greasy hands can be bothersome, especially during the daytime. So, at night or before bedtime, slather your hands with hydrating or nourishing ingredients. You can also cover them with soft socks or gloves after putting on moisturizer. This will assist in trapping and absorbing more moisture during your sleep.
Whenever doing activities involving water and detergents, consider wearing rubber gloves. Just do take note that the hands can become sweaty when wearing gloves, which can lead to dryness and irritation. It is advisable to consider cotton-lined rubber gloves or wear cotton gloves inside to minimize sweating.
For severe cases that may be due to underlying conditions, medication may be needed to heal your skin. It is also worth noting that frequent handwashing can sometimes lead to dermatitis or eczema, as well as worsen pre-existing skin conditions. See your healthcare provider about your options for medication or treatment guidance.
What about hand rejuvenation
This is for those looking to improve the appearance of aging hands. If you notice volume loss, wrinkled skin, folds, or visible veins in them, dermal fillers are worth considering. At Cutis, we have Radiesse, which is a filler composed of Calcium Hydroxylapatite (CaHA) microspheres. It is US FDA-approved for use on the lower face and hands.
Commonly used for correcting moderate to several facial lines, wrinkles, and nasolabial folds, Radiesse is also helpful for improving the overall look of your hands. You can turn to it to:
- Correct/restore volume loss in the back of the hands
- Reduce hand wrinkles
- Reduce the visibility of veins and tendons
- Restore a more youthful appearance of your hands
- Provide smooth and natural-looking results
Radiesse offers immediate volume correction, while also acting as a bio-stimulator. It helps stimulate the body to produce its own natural collagen, which helps the skin regain tightness and elasticity. The results can last 12 to 18 months, with some patients reporting it lasting for up to two years.
Further reading: RADIESSE®: What Makes it Different from Other Fillers?
Keep washing your hands, but make sure to use products that can protect them from further dryness. And when it comes to hand rejuvenation using dermal fillers, don’t hesitate to contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore today and schedule a consultation with our aesthetic doctor.