Our lives have undoubtedly changed over the last two years. Many of us have not only ramped up our cleaning and hand washing routines, but have even incorporated more portable hand sanitizers into our lives as well. As such, dermatologists have begun to notice an increase in skin sensitivity issues. Including dryness, itchiness, and, in some cases, eczema. While these conditions can often be caused by regular allergies and stress, consistent use of chemical based products on the skin appears to be a common factor.
Are These Issues Related To Hand Sanitizer Use?
For many people, the increase in washing and sanitizing is a drastic change from the hygiene routine from even a few years ago. The sudden change in routine can be disruptive to the skin barrier. While we certainly want to continue being mindful about personal hygiene, we also want to be aware of the impacts this can have on our skin.
Both alcohol based sanitizers and harsh cleaning products can have an affect on our skin. But not everyone. Some people have a higher tolerance to alkaline and chemical based products, but other people are especially sensitive to the repeated exposure. If you’ve noticed changes in your skin this year, consider the type of hand sanitizer and cleaning products you are using and how often you touch your face after application. It could very well be the reason that your skin is itchy and dry.
Ingredients Causing Skin Irritation
Repeated exposure to high alcohol levels can make your skin more susceptible to infection, allergic reactions, dryness, and other skin conditions such as eczema. However, many hand sanitizers include other ingredients to help moisturize the outer layer of skin. . But it is most likely the combination of hand sanitizer in addition to these harsh household cleaners causing the irritation. The ingredients in those products can include lye, sulfuric acid, ammonia, and other harsh chemicals that may dry or damage your skin.
Solutions for Protecting Your Skin
While we certainly don’t want to stop washing our hands, using hand sanitizer, or cleaning, there are a few smart solutions that may help protect your skin. Be sure to use warm water – opposed to hot – when washing your hands, and keep a trusted moisturizer nearby for reapplication throughout the day. You can also use a vinegar based hand sanitizer, which is just as effective but less severe than alcohol based sanitizers
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