Skin care tips during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic

Most individuals are washing their arms or utilizing hand sanitizer extra regularly lately. Many are additionally sporting face masks when in public or throughout work shifts, typically for hours at a time.

These measures are key to lowering the unfold of the virus that causes coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19). However they’ll irritate and harm your pores and skin. Making a couple of skincare modifications in your arms and face may also help counteract these results.

Hand care

Some of the necessary issues you are able to do to guard in opposition to COVID-19 is to maintain your arms clear and free from germs. The Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you simply wash your arms typically with cleaning soap and water for at the very least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that comprises at the very least 60% alcohol.

However a lot of hand washing can strip your arms of their pure oils. To stop dry, cracked pores and skin:

  • Be mild in your arms. Use cool or lukewarm water with cleaning soap to scrub your arms. Scorching water is not any extra useful in opposition to germs that may make you sick. And sizzling water can improve pores and skin harm.Keep away from antibacterial cleansers. They don’t seem to be that helpful for stopping infectious illness. They usually include chemical compounds comparable to perfume that may irritate pores and skin.
  • Put on gloves when cleansing to guard your pores and skin. Disinfectants for cleansing surfaces are efficient in opposition to germs, however a number of the elements could be harsh in your arms.
  • Moisturize, moisturize. After washing your arms, gently rinse and pat them dry. Proper after, apply loads of moisturizer. In case your arms nonetheless really feel dry after a minute or so, apply extra. Use a moisturizer that is hypoallergenic and freed from fragrances and dyes that may irritate your pores and skin. Preserve the moisturizer helpful — subsequent to rest room and kitchen sinks, in your automobile or at your workspace. Make it simple to repeat this important step.
  • Mix moisturizers. Generally, a mixture of moisturizers works greatest. Light-weight lotions sometimes draw moisture to the pores and skin’s outer layer. Search for elements comparable to urea, glycerin or hyaluronic acid. To seal the moisture in, comply with with a heavier moisturizer that stops water loss. Oil-based lotions or petroleum jelly work effectively. As a result of heavier moisturizers can really feel greasy, some folks depart a thick layer on their arms lined with cotton gloves in a single day.
  • Do not ignore early pores and skin safety. Even when your arms do not feel dry or chapped, you’ll want to moisturize them recurrently. Stopping pores and skin irritation from growing within the first place is simpler than making an attempt to catch up later when pores and skin is already damaged and cracked.

Facial care

Many staff in locations comparable to salons, eating places, retail shops and in well being care put on masks all through their shifts through the COVID-19 pandemic. The CDC recommends sporting material masks in public to assist cut back the unfold of the coronavirus by individuals who have COVID-19 however do not understand it.

However as useful as it’s, masks use can result in chafing of the pores and skin on the bridge of your nostril, chin, cheeks and even behind the ears. Some folks develop itchiness or a rash. Sweaty or damp situations underneath the masks can result in zits breakouts. To ease these problems of masks sporting through the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Undertake a daily skincare routine. Cleanse and moisturize your face earlier than and after utilizing a masks. Select merchandise labeled “noncomedogenic,” which suggests they will not clog pores and skin pores.Do not use merchandise with petrolatum, although. Petrolatum is a typical ingredient in “heavy-duty” lotions and ointments, comparable to petroleum jelly. It might get in the best way of the masks’s perform, particularly N95 masks utilized by some well being care staff. In case your pores and skin tends to be on the oily facet, go for a water-soluble moisturizer.
  • Use a barrier ointment or bandage. To stop or relieve pores and skin accidents attributable to strain or friction from masks, a thick layer of zinc oxide can soothe and shield pores and skin. Zinc oxide is a pores and skin protectant typically used for diaper rash or severely chapped pores and skin. Apply it to the bridge of your nostril or behind your ears.You may also strive putting a bandage between the pores and skin strain factors and the masks. Ask your physician or pharmacist about bandages or dressings that present cooling reduction and conform to the pores and skin whereas nonetheless permitting for acceptable masks use.
  • Ease blisters. If a blister types, maintain it clear and apply antibiotic ointment. Use a bandage to create a protecting barrier between the blister and the masks.
  • Deal with zits. In the event you develop zits, cleanse your pores and skin recurrently. Use a water-soluble moisturizer. Search for zits therapy merchandise that include retinoids, benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid. Additionally, keep away from popping or squeezing pimples, which might contribute to irritation and an infection of the realm.

Skilled care

Do not surrender on washing arms and sporting masks, as these are important prevention measures in opposition to COVID-19. Within the meantime, taking the steps described above may also help shield your pores and skin.

In the event you develop cracked pores and skin that begins to bleed, blisters flip into ulcers or develop into contaminated, or when you’ve got a critical pores and skin response, discuss to your physician promptly. Broken pores and skin can improve your danger of an infection and might have greater than residence care. Remedy could embrace prescription medicines and pores and skin therapies.

This text is written by Mayo Clinic Staff. Discover extra well being and medical info on


For the newest updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, test the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. For extra info and COVID-19 protection, go to the Mayo Clinic News Network and

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