The year 2020 has been a year where we’ve had to take extra caution with our personal hygiene due to COVID-19 pandemic.
In line with the WHO the 3 major ways to keep oneself and prevent the spread of the virus are:
- Clean your hands often. Use soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Maintain a safe distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
- Wear a mask when physical distancing is not possible.
However, cleaning your hands frequently can dry out your skin & strip your hands of their natural oils and wearing face masks can cause skin rashes & irritation.
Here are some tips that can help:
- Be gentle on your hands: Use cool or lukewarm water to wash your hands. Avoid using hot water as that can increase skin damage.
- Moisturizing is key: After washing your hands, gently rinse and pat them dry. The next step is to apply a moisturizer and rub palm together until it no longer feels dry.
- Always protect your skin: Moisturize regularly, even if your hands don’t dry or cracked.
Sweaty or damp conditions under a face mask can lead to acne breakouts and other skin concerns.
Some people develop itchiness or a rash chafing of the skin on the bridge of your nose, chin, cheeks, and even behind the ears. To ease these complications of mask-wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Adopt a regular skincare routine: Cleanse and moisturize your face regularly, especially before and after using a mask. Choose products labeled “noncomedogenic,” which means they won’t clog skin pores.
- Clean your hands before you put your mask on, as well as before and after you take it off, and after you touch it at any time.
- When you take off a mask, store it in a clean plastic bag, and every day either wash it if it’s a fabric mask or dispose of a medical mask in a trash bin. Wash your cloth masks. Many health care organizations now recommend that you wash a cloth mask after each use. Washing also removes oils and skin cells that collect inside the mask, which could lead to a skin problem.
- Skip the makeup when wearing a mask: Beneath a mask, makeup is more likely to clog your pores and lead to breakouts. If makeup is necessary, use only non-comedogenic products.
Taking the steps described above can help protect your skin. However, if you have a serious skin reaction, talk to a dermatologist. Treatment may include prescription medicines and skin therapies.
Sources: WHO, Mayo Clinic, NCH&C