Excessive hand hygiene practices causing skin complications: Dermatologists

Sun Online Desk

16th October, 2020 12:54:59 printer

Excessive hand hygiene practices causing skin complications: Dermatologists

The Covid-19 pandemic is a stark reminder to the fact that one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of the virus is also one of the simplest: Hand hygiene.

Amid the pandemic, washing hands and maintaining hand hygiene has become all the more important. As per experts, it is the first line of defence against coronavirus till the time a vaccine is developed.

Dermatologists have observed an influx of cases coming with adverse effects of following excessive hand hygiene.

Nandini Barua, a senior consultant in the department of dermatology at Paras Hospital, Gurugram, said that people have developed an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) for rigorous hand hygiene, suffering several skin ailments as a result.

"The adverse effects of excessive hand washing can cause are mild rashes, dermatitis, and in extreme cases, dry eczema and psoriasis," she cautioned, said Nandini Barua, a senior consultant in the department of dermatology at Paras Hospital, Gurugram.

"All antiseptic soaps contain harsh chemicals, while alcohol-based sanitisers suck skin moisture. To avoid this situation, any mild soap can be used, also frequent use of moisturisers are recommended during the Covid times to keep the hand hydrated.

However, a 20-second hand wash is necessary because the layer of coronovirus has to be destroyed," Barua advised.

Upali Nanda, head of preventive health and consultant-medicine at the Medeor Hospital in New Delhi, listed out a few cautions and precautions that people need to watch out for while maintaining hand hygiene:

* Tap water may contain microorganisms growing as a slimy layer in water storage tanks

* Washed hands may require further decontamination with antiseptic hand rubs, especially in areas where water quality is poor

* Wet hands can more readily acquire and spread microorganisms. Therefore proper drying of hands is an integral part of routine hand washing

* Reusing or sharing towels to dry hands should be avoided because of the risk of cross-infection

* Ideally, hands should be dried with either individual paper towels or hand dryers

* The skin should be gently dried with towels to avoid any cracking or excoriation as it can lead to further local and then bloodstream infection

* Don't forget to moisturize your hands after drying to prevent excessive dryness.

--IANS


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