With the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in our country, we’re all aware of keeping our personal hygiene at its best. Washing our hands and keeping them clean has never felt more important to avoid picking up and transmitting the virus onto ourselves.
However, with frequent hand-washing and sanitizing, our skin does tend to get dry and irritated. So we asked Dr Peter Ch’ng, a consultant dermatologist at Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur and Peter Ch’ng Clinic Skin & Laser Specialist, for his skincare tips.
Q: Now that we have to keep washing our hands, what can we do to protect the skin’s barrier and prevent dry hands?
A: Water is alkaline and, therefore, an irritant. In contrast, our skin needs a more acidic pH to feel comfortable. So the more you wash your hand, the dryer your skin will become.
While washing our hands is essential, my advice is to use a moisturizing cleanser, and apply a moisturizer after washing. So the key remedy to manage hand eczema is by ensuring sufficient moisture on the skin.
For this reason, don’t be overly obsessive with hand-washing, such as washing your hands even when they’re clean. Do not overuse an alcohol rub or sanitizer, or treat them like hand moisturizers. Just like water, hand sanitizers can trigger skin eczema.
Here are some of our top picks for moisturisers that are great if you are prone to red, itchy and dry skin: