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Sanitizers and Cleaning Products May Be Causing Your Itchy, Dry Skin

Sanitizers and Cleaning Products May Be Causing Your Itchy, Dry Skin

With cold and flu season in full swing, many of us have ramped up our efforts to keep germs away and started washing our hands and using hand sanitizers more frequently.

For many people, the increase in washing and sanitizing is a drastic change from their hygiene routine during warmer months. This sudden change in routine can disrupt the skin barrier, leading to various skin issues.

During the winter months, dermatologists often notice an increase in skin sensitivity cases, with symptoms ranging from dryness and itchiness to eczema. While these conditions can be caused by stress and allergies, the consistent use of chemical-based products on the skin can also be the reason.

The skin on our hands is generally more resilient to harsh chemicals than other parts of the body. However, individuals often apply alcohol-based hand sanitizers to their hands and then touch their faces, causing sensitivity and dryness. The same goes for cleaning products used around the home. Some people have a higher tolerance for chemical-based products, while others are particularly sensitive to them. If you’ve noticed changes in your skin this year, consider the type of hand sanitizer and cleaning products you are using at home and how often you touch your face when using them. It could very well be the reason for your itchy, dry skin.

Solutions for Protecting Your Skin During Cold and Flu Season

While it is important to practice good hygiene during the winter months and to take some extra steps to protect yourself from germs, there are a few solutions that can help protect your skin and your health.

Here are some quick tips to keep in mind:

  1. Use warm water, not hot water, when washing your hands. Hot water can lead to dry, tight skin.
  2. After washing your hands, apply a moisturizer while your skin is still damp to help retain some of the moisture.
  3. Consider using alcohol-free hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizers with hypochlorous acid (a solution made up of water, chloride, and vinegar) are strong enough to fight bacteria but less harmful to your skin.
  4. Use different moisturizers for different areas of your body. For hands, choose thick creams or lotions. For your face, stick to oil-free lotions that won’t cause breakouts.
  5. Consider using natural cleaning products to avoid harsh chemicals. But if you do prefer regular cleaning products, avoid touching your face when using them and always wash your hands when finished.

We Can Help

If you are experiencing dry, itchy, or sensitive skin, schedule an appointment with your dermatologist. Your dermatologist can help you find the optimal treatment and products to help your skin during these dry winter months.

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