Wearing masks and washing your hands frequently are critical preventive measures to slow the spread of coronavirus. While these are imperative steps to control the virus, frequent hand washing can cause severe dry skin that can itch, flake, crack and bleed if we are not careful enough. Further, prolonged use of masks can give acne, rashes, scars if used without proper precautions, causing open wounds in the skin that can allow bacteria and germs, thus increasing the risk for infection. While we are living in difficult times where frequent handwashing and wearing a mask is the norm, let our skincare not be compromised.
Our expert dermatologists from www.boardofdoctors.com share these tips to keep our skin healthy and hydrated during COVID19.
- Use lukewarm water: Wash your hands with mild soap for at least 20 seconds with cool or lukewarm water. Hot water is a big NO as it can increase skin damage. Make sure your soap is not laden with chemicals and antibacterial cleansers as they can irritate the skin. A normal soap will do just fine.
- Moisturize frequently: Apply moisturizer immediately after washing your hands. Let your hands be slightly damp while you work your moisturizer into your skin. Use a moisturizer that’s hypoallergenic and fragrance free. Keep applying moisturizer throughout the day as frequent washing can really dry your skin.
- . Look for heavy duty moisturizer: Moisturizers with mineral oil or petroleum jelly are hydrating as they seal the moisture in and prevent water loss. Lightweight creams may not be enough to protect your skin from dryness.
- Moisturize after using hand sanitizers: As the sanitizers contain more than 60% alcohol, it can be extremely drying for your hands. Apply a thick moisturizer to combat the dryness.
- Wear cotton gloves while sleeping: To further keep your hands hydrated, you can apply moisturizer or Vaseline in the night and cover it with cotton gloves overnight.
- Cleanse and moisturize: Though masks are vital to control the spread of the virus, they can lead to chafing of the skin on the chin, cheeks, behind ears and the bridge of your nose. Increased warmth and humidity within the mask provides an ideal environment for the bacteria that cause acne and clogged pores. Make sure to cleanse and moisturize your face before and after using a mask.
- Use non-comedogenic skincare: Use skin care as recommended by the dermatologists. Our doctors at http://www.boardofdoctors.com can help you choose the best one that works for your skin. Choose non comedogenic face products as they will not block your skin’s pores.
- Use a barrier gel: Dr Mukta Sachdev advises using a barrier gel such as zinc oxide acts as prevention as it forms a thin visible film on the skin which dries quickly and reduces skin contact with the mask to a certain degree.
- Protect your skin from blue light: Sunlight is not the only source of radiation our skin faces every day. While we may not be outdoors now, we are still exposed to the harmful blue rays of the laptops, TVs and phones while at home. Protect your skin from the blue rays that contribute to skin damage, hyper pigmentation and eyestrain, by applying sunscreen even when you are indoors.
- Eat healthy: Avoid resorting to binge eating junk food while at home. Focus on a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lentils, making sure to keep the dinner light. When you eat a balanced and nutritious diet, your skin will reflect that.
- Keep hydrated: Drink at least 2 to 3 liters of water to keep your skin looking well hydrated and glowing. While you are home, you may as well take advantage and flush out those toxins as you increase your water intake.
- Sleep enough: Now that you are home, your sleep cycle may take a hit as you juggle your time between your work and the shows that you watch. Be mindful of your sleep routine. Sleep early and wake up early and definitely get at least eight hours of sleep. A restful sleep takes care of dark circles, puffy eyes and premature ageing of the skin.
- Workout routine: Having a good workout regime even at home, is a must. You do not need to go to a gym to exercise. There are many videos available online to guide you to exercise at home. Working out will help your body burn cortisone, shed your extra weight, reduce stress and help keep your skin clear. Do remember to take a shower immediately after exercising.
If you still have dry skin, itchiness, acne after following these tips, you must visit a dermatologist. A dermatologist can diagnose you, guide you and provide treatment that you need. Just click on www.boardofdoctors.com to get an online appointment with the best dermatologists, without any hassles. The highly qualified doctors at www.boardofdoctors.com will guide you to a skincare regime that will take care of all your skincare woes during this pandemic.
Expert Dermatologists available for online consultations on Board of Doctors:
Dr Mukta Sachdev, Dr Abel Francis, Dr Nina Madnani , Dr Vidya Rampradeep , Dr Sushil Tahiliani , Dr Padmavathi Surapaneni, Dr Maleeka Sachdev, Dr Mukesh Ramnane, Dr Ravi Hiremagalore, Dr Sachin Varma