As 2020 has become the year of handwashing due to the coronavirus pandemic, most of us are basically experts on keeping our hands clean by now. While no one can be sure how COVID-19 will affect the world in the coming years, we’re still doing our best to practice social distancing, wear a mask in public, and washing our hands to help prevent the spread of the virus.
It’s important to remember some good advice that will keep your hands safe when washing your hands more than ever. Here’s a quick rundown of some basic tips about handwashing, but we’ll discuss a few more points to ensure that your hands stay as healthy as they can be during these turbulent times.
First off, use lukewarm or cold water when washing your hands for around 15-20 seconds, as hot water will dry out and even damage your skin. The choice of soap is up to you, such as bar soap or liquid soap, but one with antibacterial and moisturizing properties could help your hands from drying out.
Try to get into the habit of washing your hands as soon as you come home from being outside and refrain from touching your mouth, eyes, and ears if you’ve been meeting others or at a supermarket or restaurant. Only after you wash your hands is it safe to touch your face, prepare food, apply makeup, etc. Don’t forget to wash your hands if you sneeze or blow your nose into a tissue.
If you’re concerned with how dry your hands are getting after so much handwashing, then start using hand moisturizer throughout the day and especially before sleeping. If your hands start getting dry, then tiny or larger cracks might appear, and this could lead to bacteria finding its way into your body.
Our hands naturally have a moisture barrier against environmental factors, but as we are washing our hands more frequently these days, the barrier can start to weaken. Using high-quality soap, washing on a lukewarm or cold temperature, and applying moisturizer after washing will help to strengthen the skin and stop dryness. You can wear gloves sometimes if you’re outside, but don’t rely upon them to keep your hands safe and ignore washing your hands.
Although hand sanitizer and hand wipes are a good option when you’re outside and have no immediate access to soap and a basin, these should still be used sparingly. Excessive use leads to more dryness and can actually weaken our skin’s defenses, leading to more chances of getting sick. Use hand sanitizer and hand wipes only when soap and water aren’t possible and only a few times a week. In general, keep up good habits and be sure to teach others in your family, especially young children, about the importance of handwashing.