Skin irritation becoming side effect of COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — People are wearing masks and washing their hands more often due to the coronavirus pandemic, and while that’s a good thing, it’s leading to skin irritation.

Dr. Greg Bourgeois with Dermatologists of Birmingham said he’s starting to see more hand eczema — rashes and breakouts on the hands — as a result of the increased hand-washing and hand sanitizer use right now. But it’s easy to treat, he says, if you use the right kind of moisturizer.

“I always recommend something thick,” he said. “There are even good moisturizers that are found over the counter specifically for the hands that have kind of that right thickness. They’re really thick but they’re not too thick. So follow up washing the hands by using a hand moisturizer a few times during the day, and you’ll find that that will help a lot.”

Masks, meanwhile, are leading to skin damage on the face. Bourgeois said it’s especially common among healthcare professionals who have to wear masks all day. But you can buy a product called a no-sting barrier film that can help.

“It’s something that you can actually spray on the areas that you’re tending to get that skin damage, whether it’s the cheeks or the nose,” he said. “You can use it before you put on the mask or if you are starting to notice a little redness develop or even a mild breakout, you can actually use it after.”

He also recommends gentle moisturizer that can help with skin damage on the face.

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