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Conserving Your Palms Clear and Wholesome | Blogs

Conserving Your Palms Clear and Wholesome | BlogsAs a healthcare employee, clear fingers depend. Clear fingers forestall the unfold of sickness in healthcare services. Sadly, the frequent handwashing and sanitizing wanted to attain this all too usually leads to painful, cracking, or damaged pores and skin on the fingers. This raises an vital query: what can we do to make sure our fingers are clear to guard ourselves and sufferers, and nonetheless have wholesome and delightful fingers?

As dermatologists, hand dermatitis is likely one of the most typical points we see. Hand dermatitis usually comes with redness, dry pores and skin, itching, burning, blisters, and crusts. It’s made worse by moist work: when fingers are moist for greater than 2 hours per day, hand washing greater than 20 occasions per day, or sporting gloves for greater than 2 hours per day. In 2020, hand dermatitis was reported(1,2) because the second most typical nonfatal occupational sickness.

This discomfort could make correct hand hygiene unappealing and might result in healthcare employees often skipping this important process. Nonetheless, there are some preventive measures that may assist:

  • Keep away from or reduce moist work.
  • Put on gloves to do family chores, particularly when washing dishes.
  • Put on gloves when utilizing cleansing merchandise and gardening.
  • Hold fingers nicely moisturized with thick lotions and ointments like plain petrolatum or petroleum.
  • Take away rings when washing fingers.
  • Use heat or chilly water when washing fingers, don’t use sizzling water.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizers when beneficial.

The CDC recommends using alcohol-based sanitizers, fairly than cleaning soap and water, as the popular methodology to scale back germs in your fingers in most medical conditions. Except there’s seen bodily fluid, grime, oil, or grease in your fingers, sanitizers are normally the higher selection. Why?

  • In comparison with cleaning soap and water, alcohol-based sanitizers take away fewer pure protecting oils and trigger much less drying and harm.
  • Many individuals consider that hand sanitizer is extra drying than cleaning soap and water; it is a widespread fantasy not supported by science.
  • If alcohol-based sanitizer burns, it is because the pores and skin is already cracked and broken. The burning shouldn’t be an indication of additional harm.
  • The earlier you make the swap from cleaning soap and water to sanitizer, the earlier your fingers will heal.
  • Select a hand sanitizer with few elements, and ideally one that’s fragrance-free, to scale back the danger of irritation or allergy.
  • Additionally search for elements like dimethicone or glycerin to assist defend the pores and skin.
  • At work, use facility accepted moisturizers and seek the advice of together with your occupational or worker well being division for added measures.
  • It’s possible you’ll use thick moisturizers to guard the pores and skin and canopy the fingers with cotton gloves as directed by your facility and when off obligation.

Order free CDC’s Clear Palms Rely supplies on your clinic to dispel hand hygiene myths.

Even with good habits, some persons are susceptible to growing persistent hand dermatitis as a result of elements exterior their quick management. That is significantly true in case you have a historical past of eczema, or work in a healthcare setting.

Be sure you search assist in case you are affected by hand dermatitis and it’s impacting your day by day life or failing to enhance. Your dermatologist is your companion that can assist you keep clear and wholesome fingers.

Study extra about hand hygiene in healthcare settings.


  1. Survey of Occupational Accidents and Sicknesses Information [Available from: https://www.bls.gov/iif/nonfatal-injuries-and-illnesses-tables.htm#charts. TABLE SNR07. Nonfatal occupational illnesses by major industry sector and category of illness, 2021 Accessed 6 Dec 2022
  2. Fartasch M. Wet Work and Barrier Function. Curr Probl Dermatol. 2016;49:144-51.


Aída Lugo-Somolinos MD
Professor Dermatology, Director Dermatology Clinical Trials Unit, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Dr. Lugo-Somolinos is the Director of the Contact Dermatitis Clinic at UNC and serves at the Board of Directors of the American Contact Dermatitis Society

Brandon L. Adler, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California
Dr. Adler is the Director of the Contact Dermatitis Clinic at USC and serves on the Board of Directors of the American Contact Dermatitis Society.

Jennifer K. Chen, MD
Clinical Professor, Department of Dermatology, Stanford University School of Medicine
Dr. Chen specializes in contact dermatitis and is currently the President of the American Contact Dermatitis Society.
“On behalf of the American Contact Dermatitis Society”

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