Caring for sensitive skin during COVID-19

Contributor: Dr. Susan Oldenkamp, KVH Dermatology

While much of our community falls into the non-essential workforce during this period of shelter-in-place, some business such as grocery stores remain open to serve the community. As these essential workers follow guidelines to keep their hands and work surfaces sanitized, those with skin issues are likely seeing flare-ups of their conditions. We asked KVH Dermatologist Susan Oldenkamp to share a quick word of general advice, in case it would bring those hardworking folks some measure of relief.

Unfortunately, some people’s hands just don’t stand up to multiple washings every day. Some things you can do, though, are keeping a tube of a cream such as Cetaphil or Eucerin by where you wash your hands and apply it after every washing. It also helps to apply petrolatum (i.e. Vaseline) to your hands just before you go to sleep at night. If desired you can cover your hands with white cotton gloves or white socks to keep the ointment off your sheets. If you develop cracks in your skin it can help to apply antibiotic ointment, such as bacitracin to the crack and cover it with a bandaid.

It’s not practical at work, but at home you should try to do all your wet work at once and then dry your hands thoroughly and apply your cream.

If these measures aren’t enough, getting a topical corticosteroid cream from your doctor may help.

I’m sure this is a very challenging time for those with sensitive skin, and in fact, nearly everyone will be affected to some extent.

Managed by Kittitas Valley Healthcare, HealthNews does not provide medical advice. For medical advice, please see your healthcare provider.