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  • Using hand sanitizer frequently? A guide to keeping your hands healthy & avoiding skin problems

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    Since the onset of COVID-19 we have all had to increase our use of hand sanitiser and frequency of hand washing.  Over a long period this can cause skin problems on the hands for some people, particularly for those whose jobs involve very frequent use of hand cleaning products.

    In this guide we will outline procedures and products, such as different kinds of gloves to keep hands healthy while maintaining high hygiene standards.

    The frequent use of alcohol based hand sanitizers can result in dry, cracked skin on your hands. Not only is this painful and distressing, but ironically, it also causes further hygiene problems and makes it difficult when there is a need to wash your hands frequently. Some hand sanitizers and soaps can strip the natural oils of the skin and this, along with frequent use of hand dryers causes it to dry out.

    Focussing on preventing skin conditions like dermatitis and dry or chapped skin is the best option as prevention is better than cure!

    Choose moisturizing soap and wash hands rather than using hand sanitizer where possible

    Hand washing is more effective than hand sanitizer at reducing spread of coronavirus. In addition, if you dry your hands well and use the right products, it is generally less drying for the skin.

     

    HANDSAFE ANTIBACTERIAL FOOD SAFE SKIN CLEANSER 5L, £7.97 HANDSAFE ANTIBACTERIAL FOOD SAFE SKIN CLEANSER 5L, £7.97

     

    This rich deep cleansing lather contains Triclosan for proven antibacterial action. It is suitable for all industries where a mild yet effective soap is frequently required. It is free from solvents, harsh chemicals, perfumes and dyes and helps prevent skin infections.

     

    When using hand sanitizer choose moisturizing brands.

    It’s not always possible to wash hands when needed, for example before or after touching an area which a lot of people will also be touching. Choosing good quality hand sanitizer such as our Covsan brand can help.

     

    ALCOHOL SANITISING GEL, 500ML TOP BOTTLE, £9.99 ALCOHOL SANITISING GEL, 500ML TOP BOTTLE, £9.99

     

    This Covsan hygienic hand sanitiser gel disinfects hands but also feels great to use. It’s 70% alcohol formulation is suitable for frequent use and it contains Aloe Vera and Vitamin E. Specially formulated with moisturisers for a soft feeling and protection of the skin.

     

    Double check you are washing your hands properly

    We all know the rule you must sing 'Happy birthday' twice to have washed your hands thoroughly, but making sure you wash your hands in the right way can help to reduce skin irritation too.

     

    Here are the basic rules of handwashing

     

    Put the soap on first: Many people wet hands before dispensing a dose of soap into a cupped hand, however for heavily soiled hands  it’s best to apply soap directly to the skin first.

    Rub your hands as follows: 

    • Rub palm to palm; 
    • Palm over back of hand
    • Fingers interlaced,
    • Palm to palm,
    • Fingers interlaced,
    • Curl fingers together
    • Palm to palm,
    • Rub your thumb in small circles over each palm;
    • Rub four fingers, close together over each palm in small circles.
    • Don’t forget to wash your fingertips, it’s the bit most people miss and perhaps the most important part of your hands to clean to help avoid spread of viruses and bugs.

     

    • Rinse and dry thoroughly: Drying your hands thoroughly will help to avoid chapping. Use a clean towel. Use the towel to turn the tap off before you throw it away.

     

    Click here for a poster from Public Health England which can be printed and used to remind staff of how to wash hands thoroughly.

     

    Use barrier creams

    The skin’s natural barrier is a mixture of proteins, lipids and oils. This natural barrier can be weakened by frequent washing, so applying a barrier cream straight after washing hands is a good habit to get into and it’s more effective if you do this before you start to get any skin problems.

    You’ll need to apply the barrier cream five or six times a day for this to be effective -- once a day just won’t be enough.

    When it comes to choosing the cream, seek out creams with emollients and humectants in them, and if in doubt, it is a good idea to ask a pharmacist for their recommendation. If your hands are sore or dry, petroleum jelly is often a reliable option.

     

    CARE4 AFTER WORK LOTION CREAM, 300ML PUMP, £1.79 CARE4 AFTER WORK LOTION CREAM, 300ML PUMP, £1.79

     

    Care 4 is a high quality replenishing cream, which reconditions the skin during and at the end of the working day. Suitable for use on all skin types as an after- work cream to re-balance natural oils within the skin during working activities. Ideal for engineers and fitters, production operatives, warehouse staff or people working in maintenance, healthcare or office environments.

     

    Click here for our full range of hand care and cleansing products

     

    Using gloves

    If hands are already sore, or you want to avoid skin irritation, using gloves is another option. However, official advice from the Government and WHO is that for most workers and members of the public, using gloves can actually do more harm than good. If you touch an infected surface for example, then touch your face, you can catch COVD-19. You may be less likely to effectively rinse and dry gloved hands or to dispose of gloves as frequently as you can simply wash or sanitize bare hands.

    It is also important to understand how to take gloves off properly to avoid contaminating your hands with anything that is on the surface of your gloves.

     

    How to safely remove gloves:

    Take hold of the outside of one glove at the wrist and peel it away from the hand, pulling it inside out.

    Peel off the second glove by putting your fingers inside the glove at the top of your wrist and pull it inside out without touching the outside.

    Click here for a poster demonstrating how to remove gloves safely.

     

    Which gloves?

    For those who need lightweight gloves for more dexterous tasks, it’s important to choose thinner, more flexible fabrics which still offer good protection.

    DISPOSABLE P/F VINYL GLOVES BLUE, £6.50 DISPOSABLE P/F VINYL GLOVES BLUE, £6.50

     

    These disposable gloves are made of high quality blue PVC plastisol, and are designed to offer sensitivity and improved feel. They offer a dependable and economical latex free alternative. They have a smooth finish and a beaded cuff for added strength.

     

    FINITE DISPOSABLE POWDER FREE BLUE NITRILE GLOVES, FOOD SAFE, £15.98 FINITE DISPOSABLE POWDER FREE BLUE NITRILE GLOVES, FOOD SAFE, £15.98

     

    If you are working in a food environment our disposable blue nitrile gloves are perfect for all hygiene tasks. These food safe gloves are easy to don and perform in all situations. They have a high tear and puncture resistance whilst the micro-textured finish improves grip and feel. AQL 1.5, latex-free, non-sterile and ambidextrous.

    Click here for our full range of disposable gloves

     

    If you’d like to know more about what suits you or your company, our team would be happy to talk you through the safety guidance and to let you know the latest products which might best suit your needs.

    Contact us on 01726 742642 or email sales@cisafety.com

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