How to care for your hands during the coronavirus pandemic

Washing your hands should go without saying, but right now it seems to be the only thing people are talking about.

With the coronavirus pandemic worsening, it’s more important than ever to ensure your hands are clean and healthy.

This means washing them with soap for a minimum of twenty seconds as often as possible.

Pay particular attention to hand washing when entering or leaving buildings, cooking food, after entering your home, or when you have touched someone else.

Use hand sanitiser when soap and water are unavailable.

Unfortunately, such frequent washing will inevitably leave your hands dry and cracked.

The Daily Star spoke to , Lucy Xu, Skin Specialist and Founder of The London Premier Laser and Skin Clinics and she revealed her top six tips for keeping your hands in good condition.

Here are her top pieces of advice.

Use warm water

Lucy said: “You may think that using hot water will work better when it comes to ridding your hands of germs, but actually warm is just as effective and won't strip your hands of their natural oils.”

So, you don’t need to scald your hands to get them clean!

She added: “Lukewarm water will do just as well, you just need to make you are working the soap into a lather to ensure a proper wash.”

Buy the right soap

Lucy told the Daily Star: “Choosing the right soap for you is super important as many can be really drying or evasive on the skin, especially if you suffer with pre-existing skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema.

“You should avoid heavily perfumed soaps, soaps in a bar format and try to opt for milky consistency anti-bac soaps as these will be moisturising on the skin whilst also cleaning effectively…

“You ideally want to look for ingredients such as glycerine and lanolin as these will soften and act as a barrier for the outer layer of your skin.”

If your eczema is becoming inflamed, or cracking, call your doctor’s office or consult a pharmacist on the best emollient soap to use.

Also, keep an eye on any splits in the skin for signs of infection.

Make hand cream your new best friend

Lucy said: “At this moment in time you need to be investing your money in a number of great hand creams.

“For day to day use I would suggest a cream with a thinner consistency that is quickly absorbed into the skin, this can be used straight after washing your hands.”

She continued: “You may also want to purchase a heavy duty, thick hand cream for overnight use which can be slathered on liberally and will leave you with super soft and soothed hands in the morning.”

For your lighter hand cream, or if your skin is intolerant to fragrances, we’d suggest the Cetaphil Moisturising Hand Cream, £4.99, Chemist.co.uk, or Aveeno’s Unscented Daily Moisturising Hand Cream, £5.99, Boots.

A great thicker version Is the Palmer’s Coconut Oil Hand Cream, £2.49, Superdrug, is more substantial.

Want to treat yourself?

The Lady Muck Hand Cream, £12.50, Trouva, is lavender and bergamot scented and is created in partnership with ARTHOUSE to create a beautiful tube featuring Peter Andrews artwork.

Use overnight gloves

Lucy said: “One trick for giving your hands a really good pamper is to use latex gloves.

“Before you go to bed, slather on some hand cream ensuring you apply all over without rubbing it in too much, then put the latex gloves on, these will trap the moisture into the skin ensuring sure your hands reap the benefits.”

She continued: “You should wake up feeling as though your hands have had the equivalent to a moisturising face mask.”

If you need a heavy duty treatment, then buy a hand mask specifically formulated for this.

Exfoliate

This helps to buff away dry or damaged skin.

Lucy claimed: “One way to rid your hands of any dead skin cells or dry skin is to exfoliate a few times a week, you can do this using a gritty body scrub or exfoliating gloves.

“Be sure not to over exfoliate however as this can aggravate your skin even further, and afterwards make sure you are applying a balm, lotion or hand cream liberally to lock any moisture back into the skin.”

Balm up

Lucy added: “If you suffer with dry skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema and your skin is looking cracked, raw or just really sore, you should purchase a skin balm or Vaseline which you can apply directly onto any sore areas and this should both soothe as well as protect any areas from further damage.

“It’s probably best to apply Vaseline at night as it can be greasy, or throughout the day on any sore areas if your hands are really taking a hit.”

Here at the Daily Star, we on the Lifestyle desk would massively recommend Zeroderm ointment for those who prefer not to use vaseline.

It’s thick… really thick.

But, it works and that’s what matters.

Stay safe out there, keep washing your hands and using sanitiser, and if you follow these rules then your hands should remain soft and supple.

  • Coronavirus

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