As we all seek to protect ourselves from coronavirus and to stem the tide of this widespread transmission, hand sanitizer is a decent alternative when you are nowhere near a water source. The World Health Organisation (WHO), the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with our NHS and Public Health have all set out their recommendations, but they all agree thorough hand washing with alcohol-based hand gels, sprays or soap and water is the most powerful way to slow the spread of this infectious disease. Alcohol based sanitizers needs to have at least 60% alcohol content, our sanitizers have a content of 70%.
But with only a few weeks into self isolation this I’m not alone when noticing how sore my hands have become as it becomes a hot topic in mums social media groups (although I do suffer from eczema from time to time, so I’m not helping myself really!) Which made the SheaCare team create this information for you.
Q 1. Are hand sanitizers with an alcohol content this high bad for our skin and should we be using them?
Q 2. Does it exacerbate skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis?
Q 3. How can we prevent it or help heal the effects of dry, flaky
itchy and inflamed skin.
Firstly during the next 12 weeks we are going to be finding ourselves washing or sanitizing our hands every few hours, this is not normal behaviour for us and the excessive amount of washing our hands will deplete the skin’s natural protective barrier.
Answer Q 1. The NHS and Public Health inform us products need to have a minimum of 60% alcohol to kill the virus, but this also will fast track the proteins in the epidermis (top skin layer) to be stripped away, compromising the skin barrier, therefore, also the risk of infection. Repeated and frequent washing of hands and use of hand sanitizer doesn’t only remove the skins natural protective barrier but has the potential to cause severe irritation to our hands through dryness, cracked, inflamed skin and angry painful hands, stopping you from doing the most basics of tasks, but we have no choice, family life goes on and so we do so in PAIN.
Answer Q 2. Individuals with a pre-existing skin condition will notice it may exuberate their skin and the risk of skin damage is increased.
These people may already be benefiting by hand washing with a moisturizer that contains an antibacterial ingredient, for example, benzalkonium chloride or chlorhexidine. PLEASE NOTE, a recent study reported than these products with biocidal ingredients were less effective at eradicating the coronavirus. So please don’t substitute for an alcohol based product like SheaCare805 Instant Hand Sanitizing Spray or "SheaCare806" Instant Hand Sanitizing Gel both with 70% Alcohol.
Skin conditions can very quickly escalate from cracked or inflamed skin and angry painful hands, stopping you from doing the most basics of tasks, get in the habit of washing then moisturising.
Q 3. How can we prevent it or help heal the effects of dry, flaky itchy and inflamed skin.
Answer Q 3. We cannot not stop this damaging process to our hands but we can help ourselves by not leaving it till its too late when you have the soreness but to start taking steps that are reparative NOW.
SheaCare Founder Felix Robinson says, “that although hand sanitizers are known not to be the best for your hands, in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak, it’s a necessary precaution to keep using them and to remind the people around us too also, especially the vulnerable with underlying conditions or a low immune system. Those with OCD will already be aware of the effects of irritation and damage, which can be caused. However these are exceptional circumstances and during his time when excessive risk of infection is present, I think we will all agree that sore and irritated hands are a preferred choice compared to the many who have lost their lives and one we should try not to complain about, BUT we are human and we do complain,” Here at SheaCare we are giving away FREE product with every hand sanitizer or if you contact us directly, if you have a skin condition we will also provide FREE
Felix says “you can counteract the potential negative side-effects by ensuring we dry hands thoroughly. This is important for two reasons:
Firstly, germs are transferred more easily between wet hands.
Secondly, water itself has a drying effect on the skin by reducing the skin’s natural oils when it evaporates, thus impairing the skin barrier, so please ensure your children dry their hands properly”
Felix recommends using a “SheaCare500” which has a Soufflé texture that will soak into the skin easily, whilst nourishing and healing your hands as often as possible and especially after each time you use hand sanitizer. BUT to protect your hands from becoming overly dry and chapped, or to repair hands that are already suffering with inflamed and angry skin, her advice is to generously place some “SheaCare100” in the palm of your hand and slowly rub it till it becomes oily as often as required and at nighttime place some
“SheaCare100” in the palm of your hand and slowly rub it till the product becomes creamy but not an oil, then cover with 100% cotton gloves, this will allow your hands to breath whilst the SheaCare100 soaks into your skin and begins to heal.
When washing the dishes, using cleaning products, or shampooing a child’s hair, a person can protect their hands by wearing latex or rubber gloves
The overarching themes are that hand washing is essential and that individuals who have particularly dry hands or skin conditions should use emollients to minimize damage and consider buying a good moisturizer and to use often. NEVER stop taking any medication without your doctors recommendations as in doing you could suffer, also the consideration of stopping any medication should include the consideration that your skin condition may deteriorate. It may also be more difficult to access healthcare services over the upcoming months.
If you would like a question answered email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Many Thanks & Stay Safe !!
Chloe & the team xx