How To Save Your Skin From Hand Sanitizers This Winter

hand sanitizers and skin issues - cureskin app

Along with social distancing and masks, hand sanitizers have become one of the most important things to protect ourselves from the COVID19 pandemic. With the coronavirus spreading like air, it has become mandatory to cleanse hands using sanitizers. Especially after being in public space, before meals, after coughing or sneezing, after using the toilet, and whenever the hands are dirty. Though, this safety comes at a cost because this time, your skin is at stake! Too much contact with water and alcohol in the sanitizers (chemical) can damage your skin in a BIG way, especially during winters.

What are the Effects of Using Hand Sanitizers on Your Skin?

Excessive Skin Dryness

If you’ve been using hand sanitizers for a long time now, your hands may have started showing symptoms of dryness. Yes, too much hand sanitizer can dry out your skin. Alcohol in sanitizers can wear off your skin’s natural oils if used in excess and frequently, causing dryness.

Skin Inflammation

Constant rubbing of hands along with prolonged exposure to water can cause your skin to inflame. Sadly, skin inflammations worsen with low humidity, which is common in winters. If you’re wearing gloves for long hours, it may further affect your skin health.

Scaly Patches

Certain chemicals such as alcohol present in hand sanitizers can irritate your skin and force the development of white coloured scaly patches on your hands, leading to discomfort.

Skin Thickening

Here, the skin becomes thick and leathery, usually a result of constant scratching or rubbing from hand washing.

Hypersensitivity and Rashes

Repeated use of soaps, detergents, or solvents can make your skin hypersensitive. Burning, itching or stinging sensations in your skin may occur quite often.

Skin Allergy

Too much exposure to allergens present in hand sanitizers can turn your skin red and lead to itchy rashes, blisters or bumps and other signs of skin allergy.

How to Protect Your Skin From Hand Sanitizers?

Use Soap & Water Instead

Avoid extensive use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers as they are known to dry out your skin. When given a choice, use mild, fragrance-free soap to wash your hands. In comparison to hand sanitizers, soaps are any day a better option. They are more effective if used properly for at least 20 seconds.

Apply Moisturizer to Hydrate your Skin

Dry, cracked skin gives bacteria and other germs an easy way to get inside your skin, causing infections. Moisturize immediately after washing your hands to lock in the moisture and ensure your hands stay supple. 

Use Fragrance-Free Petroleum Jelly

Moisturizers with added fragrance and dyes can irritate your skin if used repeatedly. Use petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) instead, which is an excellent moisturizer that does not contain skin-irritating ingredients. 

In case of inflammation, consult a dermatologist

You should consult a doctor if inflammation shows up repeatedly. Don’t take it lightly, even if the symptoms are mild. Instead of waiting for your situation to worsen, get it treated at the earliest. Try CureSkin App and get a dermatologist-approved skin treatment kit for your skin allergies delivered to your doorstep.

Summing Up

As handwashing with soap and water isn’t always possible, hand Sanitiser truly is an excellent alternative. However, you should ensure you don’t go overboard. Use them as per need and in the correct quantity. When used appropriately, it can be beneficial. Follow the tips suggested in the blog to protect your skin. If your skin feels dry despite trying everything, talk to a dermatologist. They can suggest proper treatment for your condition. 


  1. Are hand sanitizers effective against COVID 19?

The best way to prevent infections and fight against COVID 19 remains using soap and water to wash your hands. However, if soap and water aren’t available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1) recommends using alcohol-based sanitizers consisting of at least 60% alcohol. 

  1. Are antibacterial soaps better than regular soaps to wash hands?

In some cases, doctors may suggest using antibacterial soaps. However, there’s no evidence that antibacterial soaps are better to prevent illness or infection. 

  1. Can I create hand sanitizer at home?

Avoid creating your hand sanitizers at home. They are not only ineffective but have led to skin burns and other adverse reactions in several people. 

  1. Is hand sanitizer flammable?

Yes, hand sanitizers are flammable. Hence, keep them away from heat or flame.



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Chaitra K

I’m a Skin Care Enthusiast from Bangalore, a writer here @CureSkin teamed up with Expert Dermatologists to spread awareness on the right kind of skin and hair care for men and women. Inspiring people to explore the skin and hair care that suits their need and help them look and feel beautiful is my full-time job. Skin & hair problems affect every person's self-esteem and confidence. Hence I love helping people by giving them the best information about skin and hair health with my writing, driven by the BEST Dermatologists.