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Importance of Moisturizing Skin after Hand Washing to Prevent Dry, Cracked Skin & Infections
As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to climb, health officials have been urging Americans to wash their hands at every opportunity. Hand washing is critical to the effort to stop the spread of the virus. However, a side effect of frequent hand washing is dry skin that can flake, itch, crack and even bleed, say dermatologists at the American Academy of Dermatology, making people more susceptible to germs and other bacteria. Fortunately, there are simple precautions you can take to avoid excessive dryness due to hand washing:
1. Wash your hands using lukewarm water. Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, making sure to get between your fingers and around your nails. Always wash your hands after using the restroom, visiting a public place, and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
2. Moisturize immediately after washing your hands. Moisturizing while your hands are still slightly damp helps lock in the moisture on your skin. Wash your hands, pat them dry, and then rub a pea-sized amount of moisturizer over your hands. Make sure to get the product onto the tips of your fingers, as that area can be prone to dryness and cracking.
3. Use moisturizers that contain mineral oil or petrolatum. Look for moisturizing ointments and creams (the ones you squeeze out of a tube), as these are more effective than lotions you pump out of a bottle. Fragrance and dye-free products are less irritating. If more relief is needed for extremely dry skin, dab petroleum jelly on your hands and put on cotton gloves before bed. This will lock in moisture all night.
4. When soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer, followed by moisturizer. The CDC recommends using a hand sanitizer made with at least 60% alcohol to effectively kill germs. Since these can be drying, it’s important to moisturize afterwards to maintain hydration. However, after applying hand sanitizer, make sure your hands dry completely before applying the moisturizer. Try to use only soap and water at home, and save the hand sanitizer for when you don’t have that option.
5. Don’t believe everything you hear or see online. Contrary to statements being made on social media, using moisturizer after washing your hands does not negate your hand-washing efforts, and there is no evidence that using hand sanitizer makes you more vulnerable to infections or viruses.
Even if your hands are dry, you should continue to wash them, as doing so can remove harmful bacteria and viruses. If moisturizing after hand washing does not relieve your dry skin issues, call for an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist at Warrenton Dermatology, as you may require a prescription cream or ointment. Dry skin can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as eczema, and a dermatologist can give you a proper diagnosis.
Source: American Academy of Dermatology
1. Soak Your Feet Regularly
Take a bath or soak your feet in a large bowl with warm water for 10 to 15 minutes to help soften the skin. You can also add a few drops of tea tree oil or Epsom salts. Epsom salts will help relax the nervous system, ease muscle strain and draw toxins from the body. Not only will a foot soak help relax your feet, hydrate your skin and relieve pain due to standing or walking for hours, it will also soften skin, making it easier to exfoliate.
When feet are not properly moisturized, dry skin cells will begin to build up. After soaking your feet to soften the skin, exfoliate with a pumice stone (a natural lava stone) in warm water to remove dead skin and calluses. Apply light pressure while moving the stone in a circular motion across the skin, especially over the heels. Foot scrubs or exfoliating creams can also be used to gently get rid of dead skin cells between your toes.
3. Trim & File Toenails
Keep your toenails short. They are thicker and more brittle than fingernails, so soaking your feet before trimming your toenails will make the job easier and help prevent them from splitting. Try to clip the nails straight across to avoid painful ingrown nails, and gently file the corners to round sharp edges. Let your nails breathe. Consider taking a break from nail polish every now and then, so your nails don’t get too dry and discolored. When using polish, be sure to apply a clear base coat before pigmented polishes to keep them from staining the nail.
Hand creams are not necessarily formulated to meet the specific needs of your feet. Moisturize regularly with a product specifically made for foot care. Pay particular attention to the heel and ball areas of your foot.
Summertime is the time to enjoy sandals and bare feet in the sand! If you experience problems with your toenails and/or the skin on your feet (i.e. cracked skin, nail fungus, athlete’s foot), the skin care professionals at Warrenton Dermatology & Skin Therapy Center are here to help you. Call 540-341-1900 to schedule an appointment.
Improve skin texture, shrink pores, reduce oil and sebum production – all without downtime.
Do you want radiant skin with smaller pores and a smoother surface? Fine tune your overall skin appearance fast, with AquaGold® Fine Touch™ micro-infusion treatments. This patented, gold-plated, hair-fine needle system painlessly delivers custom solutions into the skin. Tiny amounts of customized serum are delivered directly into the skin (not placed topically on it, or below the skin). The effect is different than having Botox placed in the muscle or filler injected to replenish volume under the skin. Micro-infusions work at the superficial dermal level of the skin itself to make your complexion glow and provide a “filter-like” airbrushed effect. Celebrities like Kim Kardashian-West get this treatment right before big events, like the Met Gala, to perfect their camera-ready look. There are also long-term benefits - like stimulation of your own natural collagen production with continued treatments.
- Shrink Pores with Micro-Botox
- Smooth Skin with Dermal Micro-Hyaluronic Acid Gel (Juvederm)
- Improve Superficial Acne Scarring with Micro-Hyaluronic Acid Gel
- Brighten Skin with Micro-Pigment Reducers
How It Works
The AquaGold® Fine Touch™ micro-infusion treatment, sometimes called a “Botox facial,” involves using a tiny micro-channeling device to stamp a special elixir of strategically blended, skin-enhancing ingredients into the superficial layer of the skin. The infusion blend is customized to meet your skin’s needs, and may include vitamins, anti-oxidants, growth factors, pigment reducers, Botox, and/or hyaluronic acid gel. The AquaGold® Fine Touch™ device painlessly, safely and effectively delivers treatments with 24K gold-plated, surgical-grade microchannels, each thinner than a human hair. The ingredients are gently stamped into the skin at a precise 600-micron depth, completely covering the surface of the treated area – usually the face, neck, chest and/or hands. Not only is the custom serum delivered to the skin, but the process of creating the tiny punctures with the micro-channels kickstarts the body’s wound-healing response, resulting in increased collagen levels and boosted cellular turnover. When Botox is infused into the dermis (not the muscle) it acts on the arrector pili muscles in the skin to help control pore size. This is the only recognized treatment to have an actual physical effect on pore size (note: infusing Botox into the skin does not affect muscle movement and will not replace the need for regular Botox injections to minimize expression lines).
Unlike other micro channeling devices or rollers, the AquaGold® Fine Touch™ is uniquely designed so it will not create micro tears in the skin or cause bleeding. It is completely painless, and there is no downtime following the procedure. For ultimate safety, the device is used only once on your skin and then is discarded. Post treatment, we recommend that you avoid direct sun exposure, wearing makeup and washing your face for the remainder of that day (sunscreen is okay).
The AquaGold® Fine Touch™ can be used on the face, neck, chest and hands. Special attention is often used around the mouth and in the delicate under-eye area. It is also an excellent way to address signs of aging on the décolletage, where wrinkles and discolorations can be harder to treat.
Possible Infusion Ingredients:
Hyaluronic Acid Gel (like Juvederm) is a soft substance that absorbs water and brings full hydration to the treated area, giving it improved firmness, elasticity and smoothness.
Botox applied to the dermis (not the muscle) helps control pore size and refine skin surface.
Growth Factors stimulate the skin for improved healing and maintenance of collagen levels.
Pigment Reducers inhibit melanin response. Combined with sunscreen, discolorations are reduced.
When going to a doctor's office, you may have seen medical providers that do not have the designation M.D. (Medical Doctor) after their name. Do you ever wonder what "PA-C" means? It stands for Physician Assistant, the "C" means that they have been certified by the National Commission of Certification of PAs.
PAs are state licensed health care providers who work in close collaboration with physicians to improve access to healthcare and to provide patients with many of the services traditionally provided by physicians. Educational requirements for a PA include an undergraduate degree followed by a master's degree in a certified PA program. PAs practice in all fields of medicine and in all states. PAs work closely under the supervision of a physician to provide health care. The care provided by PAs varies depending on their training and the discretion of the supervising physician. While some PAs work in primary care, some others choose to practice in a more specialized field. Dermatology trained PAs can perform some of the same duties and procedures as dermatologist. They can perform skin checks and treat a multitude of skin conditions.
The relationship between a physician and a PA is based on trust and mutual respect. The dermatologist and the dermatology PA are part of the dermatology care team and, as such, their mutual goal is to provide the highest level of care to patients in the clinic. Patients should know that PAs work closely with a dermatologist and should know that the physician is always available to the PA for consultation when needed. At times, the PA may even ask the physician to assume the care of more complicated cases if these are outside the scope of practice of the PA. When seeing a dermatology PA, it is important to know if they have maintained their certification and if they have been trained by a board certified dermatologist. At Warrenton Dermatology, our board-certified M.D. is fortunate to practice side-by-side with two amazing PA-Cs. Not only are they smart and competent but compassionate and dedicated to our mission.
Research Demonstrates Potential of Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy for Hair Loss
Board-certified dermatologists can help patients determine the best treatment option for them
Tens of millions of people in the U.S. experience hair loss, which can have a significant impact on the quality of life. There is more hope on the horizon, however, as a growing amount of research indicates that a procedure known as platelet-rich plasma therapy can provide effective treatment.
“A general body of evidence has recently emerged demonstrating a positive response from PRP treatments,” says Jeffrey Rapaport, MD, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in private practice in New Jersey. “With consensus forming around treatment protocols, studies are indicating that PRP is a safe, effective hair loss treatment that has the potential to greatly improve the quality of life of millions of people.”
PRP therapy originated in Europe more than a decade ago and has been utilized in a variety of medical areas, including orthopedics and dentistry. The procedure involves placing blood drawn from the patient into a special machine that separates red blood cells from plasma, which is rich in platelets that contain growth factors.
In hair loss therapy, the plasma is directly injected into the patient’s hair follicles in a process that takes no more than 10 minutes, according to Dr. Rapaport. Since the procedure involves only minimal discomfort, he says, patients typically do not require any numbing or downtime following therapy.
After the initial treatment, injections are repeated once a month for the next three months, and then once every three to six months after that. Within the first few months of treatment, patients may notice they are losing less or minimal amounts of hair, Dr. Rapaport says, and soon after, they may begin to see an increase in thickness or eventual regrowth.
While not everyone is a candidate for PRP therapy, Dr. Rapaport says that it has been found to have high success and satisfaction rates in certain hair loss patients, including those with hereditary hair thinning or baldness. He recommends that those considering the procedure consult with a board-certified dermatologist to determine if it’s the right option for them, adding that PRP may be used in conjunction with other treatments to give patients the best possible results.
“Since PRP therapy has taken off, there have been a lot of non-dermatologists performing this procedure,” Dr. Rapaport says. “Only board-certified dermatologists have the medical training to identify if you are a good candidate, because this treatment will not work for everyone who experiences hair loss. Talk to a board-certified dermatologist to determine which hair loss treatment option is best for you.”