Hand Care Recommendations

You will hear over and over again the importance of hand hygiene related to COVID-19. The Canadian Dermatology Association completely supports the message to practice excellent hand hygiene which either means washing your hands or using waterless hand cleansers regularly.

Make sure you:

  • Wet hands with warm water
  • Apply soap
  • For at least 20 seconds, make sure to wash:
    • Palm and back of each hand
    • Between fingers
    • Thumbs
    • Under nails
    • Rinse well
  • Dry hands well with paper towel

You may also already struggle with dryness or cracking of your hands and are concerned that frequent washing will make it worse. Alternatively, you may only now be experiencing problems with dry or chapped hands due to the frequent hand cleansing.

The key message is to NOT stop washing your hands. We instead recommend ways to minimize more irritation and treat symptoms. You can also:

  1. Use gloves for other wet work (for example, washing dishes and while cleaning)
  2. Use hand cream following hand hygiene and we recommend options that are emollient (thicker) and fragrance-free
    • Examples include (but are not limited to): Cerave therapeutic hand cream, Laroche Posay cicaplast hands, Glaxal base, Norweigan formula fragrance-free)
  3. Consider wearing cotton gloves at night over top of your moisturizer
  4. If these measures do not keep your skin under control, speak to your physician/dermatologist about other options.
Handwashing and Hand Sanitizing Use