Remedies to help cure the dryness caused by hand-washing, sanitizing

Hand-washing and sanitizing against the coronavirus are taking a toll on our hands and dermatologists are seeing some severe hand conditions as a result. 

But don't just throw up your dry hands and give up — there are ways to help. 

Alexis Smith's eczema is spreading. 

"It's normally never on my hands but since this frequent hand washing I have it all over them," said Smith.

She has suffered with the skin condition since childhood. 

It's worse than ever for Smith and even for many people who don't have a history of skin conditions. 

That's partly because before the crisis, most people washed their hands three to five times daily. Now they're doing it 10 to 20 times a day which causes redness, dryness possibly even some discomfort.

Dr. Amy Paller, a pediatric dermatologist, says the everyday soap we use to clean our hands has detergent in it. Simply put... it dries our skin! 

"Anybody who is exposed to a lot of harsh soap over a period of time may get what is called an irritant dermatitis," said Dr. Paller. "We don't need any antibacterial soap, any soap will do ."

Three simple tips can help: not using water that is too hot, trying to substitute a soap-less cleanser for soaps and using a moisturizer after washing your hands.

Face masks can cause irritation as well.

"All that moisture and breathing is getting all over your face your moisturizing it with water essentially. Put on a good moisturizer before you put on your face mask," said Dr. Paller.  

Another idea: wearing Vaseline, or something similar, on your hands with gloves overnight can also help lock in the moisture and prepare your hands for another day of frequent washing.

The National Eczema Association has a long list of moisturizers they recommend. Two brands that are very common and affordable are Cetaphil and Cerave. 

Click here for the complete list they recommend.