Hand hygiene recommendations during COVID Pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in worldwide hand hygiene and hand cleansing awareness. proper hand hygiene decreases the spread of transmissible disease.

The virus is believed to spread via direct contact, indirect contact, and droplet contactaccording to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). To decrease virus transmission, the CDC recommends 20 second hand wash with water and soap; or if soap and water is unavailable, sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can be used.

Hand hygiene products are available as: liquid or bar soaps, synthetic detergents, antiseptic hand washes, and alcohol-based hand sanitizers (ABHSs). Each may alter skin barrier integrity and function, increasing the risk of hand dermatitis.

Best hand hygiene practices to mitigate COVID-19–hand dermatitis.

Use of soaps and synthetic detergents

  • Wash hands with lukewarm or cool water and soap for at least 20 seconds.
  • Avoid hot and very cold water.
  • Non-frictional, pat drying (don’t rub).
  • Immediate application of moisturizer after cleansing.
  • Products with antibacterial ingredients are not necessary for proper hand hygiene.
  • Soaps or synthetic detergents should be devoid of allergenic surfactants, preservatives, fragrances, or dyes preferred.
  • Synthetic detergents with added moisturizers preferred.
  • Dry hands are with frequent use of soaps.

Use of ABHS (alcohol based hand sanitizers)

  • At least 60% alcohol content is recommended.
  • Handsanitizers should be devoid of allergenic surfactants, preservatives, fragrances, or dyes.
  • ABHSs with added moisturizers preferred.
  • Dry hands common with frequent use. Application of a moisturizer after sanitizer is recommended.

Use of moisturizers

  • Avoid using moisturizer jars to prevent double dipping and potentially contaminating the product.
  • Prefer moisturizers packaged in tubes instead.
  • Look for pocket-sized moisturizers for frequent reapplication.

Treatment of hand dermatitis

  • Application of a topical steroid to mitigate dermatitis.
  • Seek a dermatology consultation for patch testing.
  • Irritants should be identified and avoided.
  • The use of barrier moisturizing creams ishelpful;
  • Switch to less-irritating products.

Risk factors for hand dermatitis

  • Hand washing
  • Frequent hand washing
  • Washing hands with dish detergent or antiseptic soaps
  • Using very hot or very cold water for hand washing
  • Use of disinfectant wipes on hands
  • Working with irritants such as bleach
  • Pre-existing atopic dermatitis

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