We wash our hands with soap and water and count – one 1,000, two 1,000, three 1,000 … all the way up to 20 1,000.
Then we blow our nose and we wash our hands all over again – one 1,000, two 1,000, three 1,000 … you get the idea.
After washing thoroughly in between the fingers, under the nails, on top of the hands, even the wrist area, we squirt on hand sanitizer for extra protection and rub it in all over as it burns every little open cut on our fingertips.
But we do it, over and over and over throughout the course of the day because it’s for our protection and the protection of others in stopping the spread of germs.
Then at some point during the day, you get a look at those hands. Whose hands are they? They’re dried and cracked and look years older than you feel. It’s the price we pay for doing our part.
What to do about those dry, cracked hands?
Dr. Simon also said to be careful about having contact with other irritants, such as home cleaning supplies.
“Use gloves when you can when cleaning your house,” he said.
“It’s perfectly appropriate to use moisturizing lotions or creams on your hands throughout the day after washing and using hand sanitizer,” Dr. Simon said. “It’s especially important to use it right before you go to bed and when you wake up in the morning.”
Non-scented lotions or creams are usually preferred, he said.
“What has worked best for me, personally, is O’Keeffe’s Working Hands. Others that work well are Gold Bond and Eucerin, as well as many more,” Dr. Simon said.
Pay attention when you dry
It’s important, he said, to pat your hands dry, don’t rub them with a towel or paper towel.
“It’s also best to wash your hands with soap and water as opposed to using just hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizers have alcohol in them, which dries your skin out,” Dr. Simon said. “Also, after every time you wash your hands with soap and water, put lotion on your hands while they are still damp. This will help lock in the moisture.”
If you do use hand sanitizer, apply moisturizer once the sanitizer has dried.
“Keep doing your part to help prevent the spread of germs and wash your hands regularly,” Dr. Simon said.