Healthcare Workers and Dry Hands

Recently we have heard a lot about the importance of handwashing and healthcare.  Im proud to say my friends and collegues in Sligo Regional take this seriously and are very compliant with hand hygiene.

However working in dry enviroments which calls for regular handwashing can lead to dry, cracked sore hands.  This is also called irritant eczema or hand dermatitis.

Caring for your hands when you care for other people is vital as its our hands which enable us to do our work.  Unfortunatly as nurses we can be the last in the line for TLC so i wanted to make some points about caring for your paws.

  • If you find your hands are dry at all start using a soap substitute.  This means no fancy bubbles or nice smelly scents you get in your xmas stocking.  Using silcocks,emulsifying oitment, hydromol, elave or epaderm will give you instant results.  This only works if you use soap substitues as much as possible.You should adapt your home enviroment to enable this.  So every bathroom, utility and sink needs to have soap substitutes present to comply.
  • Moisturise, Moisturise, Moisturise.  I cant say it enough.  Have moisturiser about your person at all times.  Think handbags, lockers, pockets, glove compartments in cars and use it.   Every time your going to break, starting a shift, finishing etc.
  • Seek help.  If hands are cracked, fissured, bleeding or infected go to your GP for advice and contact your occupational health department.
  • Practice as little wet work as you possibly can.  This means no handwashing dishes, clothes etc.  Even when washing vegtables or countertops use cotton gloves with rubber gloves over them

It would be great to get a conversation going about this so any questions or queries please let me know

Selene x


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About the Author

, Dermatology Clinical Nurse Specalist for 10 years but skincare and aesthetics addict for longer.
Follow me on twitter: @Selene_Daly

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