Why Hand-washing Should Be Done in Moderation

art-421-01Over-washing your hands can be dangerous to your skin and your overall health

Proper hand hygiene is among the best ways to protect yourself from common viruses and germs, but doing it too often can be dangerous for your skin.

This is because while washing your hands with soap and water helps remove dirt and germs, it also strips the skin of your hands healthy oils required to stay healthy and good bacteria to defend against diseases.

When hand-washing is done often for a long time, it can damage the skin, leading to skin conditions including chronic skin damage, irritant contact dermatitis and eczema, as well as an increase in risk of carrying and transmitting infectious microbes.

So how can you tell if you are overdoing it? An article by Health Plus from Mount Elizabeth Hospitals in Singapore points out that there is damage in your skin barrier if your hand begins to become itchy, flaky, painful, red or cracked.

If you experience these symptoms, it is advisable to consult a skin specialist on ways to heal your hands and restore your skin’s natural protection barrier.

Otherwise, you can still practise good hand hygiene while keep your hands healthy. Among several other ways, you should wash with warm water and use a moisturising soap, preferably in liquid form without any perfume.

You should also be gentle with the way you wash and dry your hands. To replenish the moisture in your skin after washing, apply hand cream or ointment to your hands, which can also be done before bed or any time your hands feel dry.

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