Coronavirus Hand Washing Dermatitis Prevention!

As an RN, Emily Stone was washing her hands at least 50 times per shift before the outbreak of the coronavirus. Now due to increased concern and even more frequent washings, by the end of the day her hands are red, raw, dry, cracked and painful. She consulted her dermatologist who recommended that she moisturize and protect her hands after each washing with a new, patented, anti-inflammatory, anti oxidant, skin healing protectant that contains a non-allergenic extract from oregano leaves; OreganKnow skin healing protectant . He explained that this ointment protects the skin, allows the barrier to heal and prevents water loss from the skin of the hands.

As part of preventing the spread of the Coronavirus, the CDC recommends washing “hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.” “If soap and water are not readily available” they recommend “an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.”

 While these steps are essential for public safety, many people especially those with sensitive skin and a history of atopic dermatitis will develop irritant hand dermatitis with these sanitary procedures. In fact, all people will eventually develop irritant contact hand dermatitis with very frequent hand washing [1] or application of hand sanitizers.

 Also called hand eczema, the skin on the hand become dry, cracked, red, scaly and at times painful. Studies have shown that hand dermatitis often leads to colonization of the hand with dangerous bacteria such as Staph Aureus and even Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and that this colonization is more common with more severe hand dermatitis. [2]. Not only can these bacteria cause severe skin infections such as boils and even  systemic infection but also contribute to and perpetuate hand eczema. Bacteria on the hands also can be spread to others.

 Recent lab studies demonstrated the potent extract in OreganKnow skin healing protectant , called Oregano Natural Preservative, suppresses the growth of many bacteria such as Staph aureus or MRSA. This information will be presented at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Wound Healing Society, in San Diego, CA.

According to our Board Certified Dermatology Consultant, “if you want to prevent hand dermatitis from frequent hand washings then consider applying a moisturizer such as OreganKnow skin healing protectant after each hand washing.” “I recommend that patients and friends carry a tube in their pocket or handbag.”

There is minimal chance of allergic contact dermatitis as seen with other moisturizers and healing ointments. Other brands contain allergens such as lanolin, bacitracin, neomyocin, polyethylene glycol and chemical preservatives. “This allergic contact dermatitis often becomes more of a problem then the original minor wound, cut, scrape burn or dermatitis.”

1. C. G. Mortz, C. Bindslev-Jensen, and K. E. Andersen, “Hand eczema in the odense adolescence cohort study on atopic diseases and dermatitis (TOACS): prevalence, incidence and risk factors from adolescence to adulthood,” British Journal of Dermatology, vol. 171, no. 2, pp. 313–323, 2014.

2. P. Haslund, N. Bangsgaard, J. O. Jarløv, L. Skov, R. Skov, and T. Agner, “Staphylococcus aureus and hand eczema severity,” British Journal of Dermatology, vol. 161, no. 4, pp. 772–7, 2009.