Crutchfield Dermatology Notes a Rise in Hand Eczema Due to Coronavirus Handwashing

Share Article

Charles E. Crutchfield II, M.D., tells how to treat the itchy, dry, raw, painful side effects of constant handwashing good hand hygiene.

Charles E. Crutchfield III, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and medical director of Crutchfield Dermatology in Eagan, MN.

“As a result of frequent hand washing, we are seeing hand eczema with dryness, cracks, and irritation on a level that we have never seen before.” - Charles E. Crutchfield III, M.D.

Charles E. Crutchfield II, M.D., tells how to treat the itchy, dry, raw, painful side effects of constant handwashing good hand hygiene.

In the past weeks, the COVID-19 pandemic has had people washing their hands at an unprecedented rate. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued a statement that Americans should wash their hands "often," with soap and water, and counting at least 20 seconds (singing the happy birthday song twice) for each washing. Alternatively, they can use hand sanitizer with a 60% alcohol content or higher. The good news is that people are following these guidelines and washing or sanitizing their hands several times per day. The bad news is this new hand hygiene program is wreaking havoc on our hands. "As a result of frequent hand washing, we are getting multiple calls and teledermatology appointments with patients complaining of dry, cracked, flaky, itchy, raw, painful hands. This is hand eczema on a level that we have never seen before, and it places people at risk for skin infections," says Charles E. Crutchfield III, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist and medical director of Crutchfield Dermatology in Eagan, MN.

"Even in the best of times, I see an increase in hand irritation during the cold, dry winter months in Minnesota as we wash our hands to prevent colds and the flu and for general cleanliness. But now, this combination of frequent handwashing and the constant use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers is producing hand eczema at a rate that I have never seen before. The excessive detergents and alcohol strip the skin of its natural protective and moisturizing oils. This produces dryness, irritation and hand eczema." comments Dr. Crutchfield

Of course, frequent hand washing is essential for good health and safety measures. Doctors cleanse their hands dozens of times a day. As a result of hand irritation from repeated washing. We have developed a great program to prevent and treat the dry, cracked, irritated skin of hand eczema.

Prevention. Use a gentle cleanser to wash hands like Dove unscented cleansing bar or Cerave Cleansing bar. Immediately apply a moisturizing cream after every hand treatment.

For the treatment of hand eczema:
In this case, a dermatologist should be consulted. Apply a prescription anti-inflammatory cream or ointment to reverse the inflammation. Continue to use a mild cleanser, as listed above, but apply our specially designed hand cream that is rich in emollients and a hydrating cream emulsion immediately after washing or applying hand sanitizer. Most people will see positive results in just a few days.

In these challenging times, people can be safe and pamper their hands.

About Charles E. Crutchfield III, M.D:
Charles E. Crutchfield III, M.D is a graduate of the Mayo Clinic Medical School and a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He is currently the Medical Director of Crutchfield Dermatology in Eagan and is a Benedict Distinguished Professor of Biology at Carleton College. Dr. Crutchfield has won numerous teaching and professional awards and is the co-author of a children's book on sun protection a dermatology textbook and hundreds of medial articles. He is a member of the AΩA National Medical Honor Society, an expert consultant for WebMD and CNN, and a recipient of the Karis Humanitarian Award from the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. He is the team physician for the Minnesota Twins, Vikings, Wild, Timberwolves and Lynx professional sports teams. Dr. Crutchfield has over 25 years of clinical experience serving patients.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Kelly M.
@CrutchfieldDerm
Follow >
Visit website