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9 Side Effects of Using Hand Sanitizer

ETNT Health Logo By Alek Korab of ETNT Health | Slide 2 of 11: To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the CDC recommends washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if they are not available, using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Following that advice is essential, but "increased contact with irritants and allergens may increase the risk of hand dermatitis or 'eczema.' This commonly manifests on the skin with redness, dryness, cracks, and even blisters that cause itch or pain," Caroline Nelson, M.D. a Yale Medicine dermatologist and instructor at Yale School of Medicine, tells Eat This, Not That! Health.The Rx: "It's important to not overdo the sanitizer and to moisturize after every use," advises dermatologist Peterson Pierre, M.D., of the Pierre Skin Care Institute. "Using a moisturizer, ideally containing mineral oil or petrolatum, can help prevent hand dermatitis. While moisturizer should be applied immediately after hand washing, this is not the case when using a hand sanitizer. Individuals should rub their hands together for about 15-30 seconds covering all surfaces with hand sanitizer until the hands are dry, and then apply a moisturizer," says Dr. Nelson.

1. It Can Increase Your Risk of Eczema

To prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the CDC recommends washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if they are not available, using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Following that advice is essential, but "increased contact with irritants and allergens may increase the risk of hand dermatitis or 'eczema.' This commonly manifests on the skin with redness, dryness, cracks, and even blisters that cause itch or pain," Caroline Nelson, M.D. a Yale Medicine dermatologist and instructor at Yale School of Medicine, tells Eat This, Not That! Health.

The Rx: "It's important to not overdo the sanitizer and to moisturize after every use," advises dermatologist Peterson Pierre, M.D., of the Pierre Skin Care Institute

"Using a moisturizer, ideally containing mineral oil or petrolatum, can help prevent hand dermatitis. While moisturizer should be applied immediately after hand washing, this is not the case when using a hand sanitizer. Individuals should rub their hands together for about 15-30 seconds covering all surfaces with hand sanitizer until the hands are dry, and then apply a moisturizer," says Dr. Nelson.

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