Are your hands dry and irritated from handwashing? Here is what you can do about it.

We are all washing our hands frequently for 20 seconds to keep safe. But for most of us, this means our hands are dry and irritated, often with cracked skin.

Here are some practical tips to prevent undue damage to our skin from handwashing.

  • Handwashing should ensure contact of the washing agent with skin for that length of time. It does not have to be overly vigourous or rough to be effective.
  • Running water will thoroughly rinse the hands clean, and again, rubbing is not needed.
  • Gently pat your hands dry, not rub them dry, this should minimise irritation.
  • Applying moisturisers/ emollients after washing can be done as frequently as required.
  • Avoid essential oils/ perfumed moisturisers as these will further irritate your skin.
  • Remember that you can soak up moisture by applying plain unperfumed emollient overnight.
  • And if you are doing the washing up or washing your little one’s hair, you could simply use disposable gloves to avoid contact with the washing agent.

If you have any Clinical queries – call 07565 224057, or email

Current Department of Health advice is on:

We will keep updating our website and keep you informed.

Many thanks, take good care and hope it will all be well and soon.

Reference: British Association of Dermatologists