Hand Cream For Nurses
For many people, dry, cracked and painful hands are a common complaint during the cooler months. For nurses, though, dry hands can be a problem all year round, resulting from the constant need to wash and rewash their hands throughout the day.
In fact, according to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE), nurses even have a significantly higher risk of contact dermatitis caused by frequent exposure to soaps, cleaners, and ‘wet work’ (work involving wet hands or frequent hand washing).
It’s a well established fact that frequent hand washing and good hygiene are the best way to prevent the spread of diseases. Cutting down on hand washing is therefore hardly an option. This creates a bit of a dilemma for nurses. Fortunately though, there are things that can they can do to help protect your hands.
Here are our top tips:
Opt for soap and water (where possible)
Alcohol based hand sanitisers are a convenient and effective alternative to hand washing. There are undoubtedly situations where this will be the best option; however, they do tend to have more of a drying effect on the skin.
Where possible, stick to soap and water. As is mandated by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN)—wash the hands thoroughly with soap, but when it comes to drying, try to pat your hands dry rather than rubbing. This can help prevent further irritation to the skin.
Both the RCN and the HSE state that moisturiser should be offered to healthcare professionals in the workplace at all times. Use the approved option when on duty and always moisturise after washing your hands – but remember it’s important to keep this routine up at home too.
There are two key ingredients to look for in effective hand moisturisers—emollients and humectants. Emollients, like Dimethicone and paraffin wax, help the skin feel smooth and flexible to prevent cracking. Humectants, such as glycerin can help the skin hold in moisture and draw in moisture from the air. Pay attention to the ingredients and try and select a skin cream that contains both, like our Working Hands Cream .
Take extra care outside of work
As all nurses know, the rules within a healthcare setting are quite specific and they are that way for good reason – despite being hard on the hands. It’s especially important to take extra care of your hands outside of the workplace to help prevent further damage or drying. Keep hands covered when outdoors and exposed to the elements, and moisturise regularly.
Practicing proper hygiene and providing excellent care to your patients doesn’t mean you have to suffer. By following these simple tips; dry, itchy painful hands should become a distant memory.