Tips on Washing Your Hands in the Era of COVID-19: Do Not Forget to Moisturize

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been advised by CDC officials to wash our hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizers to prevent the spread of the deadly virus. However, what happens when we wash and sanitize our hands too frequently? The answer is your hands can become painfully dry and cracked. With this side effect, people are less likely to adhere to good hand-washing practices.

There is a simple solution to this problem: use skin moisturizer after your washing routine of choice. Unfortunately, this skin hygiene recommendation is not often mentioned by health experts.

The skin is a protective barrier that prevents microorganisms from invading the body. However, if the skin becomes cracked or raw, this condition can set the stage for a possible microbial infection. Skin moisturizer has duel purposes: keeps the skin from drying, protects people from shedding microbes, and reduces likelihood of microbes transmission.

Additional Hand-Washing Recommendations

  1. Wash hands for 20-30 seconds with warm/hot soapy water. Washing backs of hands, between the fingers, the thumbs and under the nails.
  2. Keep fingernails cut
  3. Make sure fingers and hands are clean before opening and applying moisturizers
  4. Apply skin moisturizer after washing hands to lock in moisture
  5. To keep hands hydrated at night, apply skin moisturizer at bedtime
  6. Soaps and sanitizers with moisturizers can be very effective
  7. Sanitizers should have at least 60% alcohol
  8. Do not share moisturizers
  9. Avoid soaps that have dyes and perfumes as they can irritate skin

For more information, visit his webpage, and Linkedin,

Dr. Dabney is available for interviews via Zoom or Skype, or telephone Mon -Fri and most weekends. To schedule an interview, or for further information, contact: 706 244 4948 (cell) or

The Caldwell County News

101 South Davis
P.O. Box 218
Hamilton, MO 64644
Phone: 816-583-2116

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