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Tips for Skin Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Hand washing and using face masks are important measures in avoiding COVID-19. They can, however, dry out your skin and create acne. Here's how you can prevent this from happening:

Hand Hygiene

Keeping your hands clean and germ-free is one of the most critical things you can do to protect yourself against COVID-19. The healthcare industry suggests washing your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol.

However, excessive hand washing might deplete your hands' natural oils. To avoid dry, cracked skin, use the following methods:

  • Hands should be treated with care. Wash your hands with cool or lukewarm water and soap. Hot water isn't any more effective at killing bacteria that might make you sick. It can aggravate skin damage.  Avoid antimicrobial cleansers. They aren't very effective at preventing infectious illness. They also include substances that might irritate the skin, such as scent.
  • To protect your skin, wear gloves when cleaning. Surface disinfectants are efficient against germs, but some of the components can be harsh on your hands.
  • Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize. After washing your hands, rinse them gently and pat them dry. Apply a generous amount of moisturizer immediately after. Apply additional if your hands are still dry after a minute or so. Use a moisturizer that is hypoallergenic and devoid of irritating scents and colors. 
  • Mix moisturizers. Sometimes a mix of moisturizers is the most effective. Lightweight lotions usually pull moisture to the skin's surface. Look for urea, glycerin, or hyaluronic acid as components. Follow with a thicker moisturizer that minimizes water loss to lock in the moisture. Oil-based lotions or petroleum jelly are effective. 
  • Don't overlook the need of early skin protection. Even if your hands don't seem dry or chapped, moisturize them on a regular basis. Preventing skin irritation in the first place is more successful than attempting to catch up later, when the skin is already damaged and cracked.

Face Care

During the COVID-19 epidemic, many workers in hairdressers, restaurants, retail businesses, and health services wore masks during their shifts. Wearing cloth masks in public is recommended to help minimize the transmission of the coronavirus by persons who have COVID-19 but are unaware of it.

However, as beneficial as it is, using a mask can cause chafing of the skin on the bridge of your nose, chin, cheeks, and even behind your ears. Some people experience itching or a rash. Acne outbreaks can be exacerbated by sweaty or moist circumstances under the mask. To alleviate the challenges of mask, here are a few tips:

  • Establish a consistent skin-care routine. Before and after using a mask, cleanse and moisturize your face. Choose products branded "noncomedogenic," which implies they won't clog skin pores. Avoid products containing petrolatum. Petrolatum is commonly found in "heavy-duty" lotions and ointments such as petroleum jelly. It can obstruct the function of the mask, particularly N95 masks worn by some health care employees. If you have oily skin, use a moisturizer that is water-soluble.
  • Apply a barrier ointment or bandage to the affected area. A thick coating of zinc oxide helps soothe and protect skin by preventing or relieving skin injuries caused by pressure or friction from masks. Zinc oxide is a skin protectant that is frequently used to treat diaper rash or badly chapped skin. Use it on the bridge of your nose or behind your ears. You may also try putting a bandage between the pressure areas on your skin and the mask. 
  • Soothe blisters. Keep a clean wound and use antibiotic ointment if a blister forms. Make a protective barrier with a bandage between the blister and the mask.
  • Acne should be treated. Cleanse your skin on a daily basis if you have acne. Use a moisturizer that is water-soluble. Look for retinoids, benzoyl peroxide, and salicylic acid in acne treatment products. Also, avoid popping or squeezing pimples, which can cause irritation and infection in the affected region.

Professional Assistance

Don't give up on handwashing and wearing masks, since they are crucial COVID-19 preventative strategies.  If you have broken skin that begins to bleed, blisters that evolve into ulcers or get infected, or if you have a severe skin response, consult your doctor at once. Damaged skin can put you at risk of infection and may need more than just home care.