Guarding against coronavirus can be tough on skin

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Patty Burnaman | WWL First News

Washing our hands for 20 seconds with hot water and soap, and hand sanitizing with 60 percent alcohol, does kill germs, but also damages our skin. 

"From the inside out, drinking the recommended eight glasses a day helps keep the skin hydrated and helps prevent the damage caused by hot water and alcohol sanitizers," said Dr. Elizabeth Bucher, dermatologist from the Skin Surgery Centre.

The hot water and alcohol erodes the natural barriers on our skin that helps prevent allergic reactions.  Dr. Bucher goes on to recommend "using hand creams or moisturizers with no fragrances, or dyes.  These ingredients can cause allergic reactions."

Simple petroleum jelly ( i.e. Vaseline) works just fine, according to the doctor, but any moisturizer free of fragrance and dyes can be used. Apply the creams or ointments while the hands are still damp to lock in the moisture.

As an added treatment, she said you could liberally apply the moisturizer to your hands, then cover them with cotton gloves while sleeping -- just be sure to wash the gloves in hot water before using them again.