Are you washing your hands too much?
All over the world we are being advised to wash our hands and use alcohol based hand sanitizers to control the spread of COVID-19, aka Coronavirus.
Watching the news increases our stress and makes us wash our hands even more, until even the healthiest of hands can start to feel like sandpaper.
Has this happened to you or someone you know?
Having lived with dry skin eczema in my hands since 2000 I have a few tips to help you navigate through this difficult time.
Although antibacterial soap seems to be many people’s top choice for washing their hands during this time I do not use it.
Commercial antibacterial soap viciously strips all of the sebum from my hands, which encourages irritation that can lead to itching, bubbling, cracking and bleeding. I am much better off when I do not use it.
If this happens to your skin, or the skin of someone you know, you and they are better off without it as well.
Who needs a secondary skin infection on top of everything else? No one!
Here is an important thing to note. The CDC only recommends washing with soap and water for 20 seconds. They do not say antibacterial soap anywhere.
Now, on to some questions and answers…
My hands are sandpaper, now what?
After washing and drying your hands it is time to apply a thick and soothing emollient.
Top on my list for dry skin is tallow balm.
Here is my version: Tallowed Touch.
What is tallow balm?
Tallow balm is a nourishing skin cream made chiefly from the fat of ruminants like cows, deer, sheep, goats, buffalo etc…
Read more about tallow and my version of tallow balm in my series Tallow is Awesome!
How to apply Tallowed Touch Tallow Balm to your skin:
By nature tallow is as hard as wax at room temperature, so use the back of your thumbnail to scrape a small amount of Tallowed Touch out of the jar, rub between your palms to warm and then work into your skin. A little goes a long way so start with a small amount until you know how much your skin needs.
But I am vegetarian and I could never use beef fat…
Though I firmly believe in the power of tallow I know that it is not for everyone. In this case I recommend using a thick skin cream that contains shea butter and beeswax as its base.
My hands do not get dry.
Congratulations! I envy you but if you know someone whose skin is not as outstanding as yours, please pass this advice along!
Help! I have dry skin eczema in my hands and I am really suffering!
You are actually the reason that I make and sell Tallowed Touch Tallow Balm because it has changed my life. I hope that it can change yours as well! Here is a blog post that I wrote about dyshidrotic eczema (aka pompholyx). Also, here is my blog post for How to Handle an Eczema Flare Up.
In addition for you, my fellow eczema sufferer, I have updated my free guide: How to Handle an Eczema Flare Up Guide. You can download it from my awesome resource page when you subscribe to my email list – feel free to unsubscribe at ANY time.
Additional tips to keep from washing your hands too much:
- Use gloves when washing dishes and pets, cleaning your house, gardening, etc…
- Wash your door handles regularly so that you won’t feel the need to wash your hands every time you open or close a door.
- Just breathe and focus on what you CAN do. Do not worry yourself about things that you cannot control.
I hope that this article helps you to navigate the difficulties of washing your hands too much. It is a confusing time for many of us but we are all in this together.
How are you taking care of your hands during this time?