With the increased need for handwashing during COVID-19, the British Skin Foundation recently asked 250 parents of young children about the effect this has had on their skin.
The results showed that 56% of children are experiencing some type of skin problem associated with their hands. Further still, 1 in 4 children (24%) are now believed to be suffering from hand eczema due to increased handwashing – a significant rise since before the pandemic, when it was estimated that 1 in 5 children experienced eczema at some stage in their childhood. (BAD, 2020)
In addition, 38% reported dry skin, 17% reported cracked skin and, more alarmingly, 6% are experiencing the distress and pain of bleeding hands.
Dr Paula Beattie, British Skin Foundation spokesperson and dermatologist at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow says, “Keeping hands clean is a key part in the fight against COVID-19. Although it’s concerning to hear of children suffering with skin problems due to frequent handwashing, thankfully this can be alleviated with the regular use of an un-fragranced moisturiser. Encourage your child to get into the routine of moisturising after every hand wash.”
This advice is of course also worth therapists sharing with adult clients, if they indicate during a treatment that they are experiencing skin problems as a result of more frequent handwashing and sanitiser use.
Reference: British Association of Dermatologists. 2020. Atopic Eczema [ONLINE] Available at https://www.bad.org.uk/shared/get-file.ashx?id=69&itemtype=document.