Skin Care and COVID-19: What You Should Know

Halfway through 2020, COVID-19 continues to dominate the news while affecting the lives of every American. Skin care may seem like a minor concern during this challenging time in history, but months of extra hand washing and sanitizing could leave your skin drier than the Mojave, and there’s no immediate end in sight.

Dr. Angelina Devera and the team at Laser & Vitality Institute always place the highest priority on the condition of your skin. Staying healthy through the rigors of quarantine and social distancing includes tending to your skin, your body’s largest organ. Here’s what you should know about skin care as you adapt to the new normal imposed by COVID-19.

Preventing COVID-19

Your first health priority, for yourself and your family, is, of course, bypassing infection by the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) still regards hand washing as the most important step in preventing infection. This strategy has three components:

Additionally, the CDC advises the use of a cloth face covering when you’re around other people while maintaining safe social distances. And clean and sanitize frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, and faucets.

Each of these protective steps may have some impact on the health of your skin. If you already have skin conditions such as eczema or contact dermatitis, you could face additional problems.

How prevention irritates skin

Dry hands are perhaps the most obvious way your skin suffers from COVID-19 prevention. One problem caused by washing and sanitizing is the disruption of the sebum membrane, an oily layer that normally protects your skin from drying out. It’s also the first barrier against infection, so your dry skin also indicates a potential means of entry by the coronavirus and other infectious agents.

Moisturizers restore some of the protection offered by the sebum membrane. When dryness gets severe, look for over-the-counter medicated creams containing lactic acid, with or without urea. Make moisturizing the final part of your COVID-19 hand washing routine.

If you wear masks extensively throughout the day, your skin may react in several ways. Skin irritation from pressure may emerge first. Try alternate mask designs or pad sore spots with cotton. The internet has plenty of tips and tricks to make mask wearing more comfortable.

Watch for signs of allergy to materials in your mask, which usually present as an itchy rash. Skin enclosed within the mask could be more susceptible to acne too.

When you’re sanitizing, wear gloves to protect your already challenged hands from harsh disinfectants.

Small changes can make big differences, but if you can’t get your skin issues under control at home, it’s time to call the skin care professionals at Laser & Vitality Institute. Contact the office by phone at 714-880-8663 or through the online booking tool on this page.

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