With the COVID-19 outbreak, we have been washing our hands and using hand sanitisers more than we ever thought we would. And while we should practice this good hygiene habit even after normalcy returns, we also need to care for our dry and chapped hands. Yes, overusing hand sanitiser can result in dry and irritated skin. Thankfully, there are plenty of hand creams out there to soothe the skin. But can using a hand cream alter the ability of the sanitising formula to work effectively? Here's what we know.

Efficacy of a Hand Sanitiser

First of all, using a hand sanitiser is not as effective as washing hands with soap and water. Although the alcohol-based formula works quickly to cut down the number of germs on the skin, it doesn't kill all of them. A hand sanitiser does not physically remove the viruses from your hands, unlike soap and water. Further to this, when your hands are greasy or stained, the hand sanitiser may not work at all. How to Avoid Picking Coronavirus Germs at a Grocery Store? Tips to Safeguard Yourself From COVID-19 Pathogens Lingering on Shopping Carts in Supermarkets.

Applying Hand Cream after Hand Sanitiser - Not the Right Way!

Just like sunscreen, the sanitiser can get accidentally wiped away before it has taken its full effect. So a big dollop of hand cream used immediately after applying a hand sanitiser, can negate its impact. As you know, a sanitiser needs to contain 60 percent alcohol for it to be effective, the bacteria may not be able to survive on any other medium like a hand cream. Coronavirus Prevention: How to Keep Your Hands Germ-Free? The Best Way to Wash Your Hands to Protect Yourself from COVID-19.

The Correct Way to Apply a Hand Cream

Make sure that the hand sanitiser completely dries out before you a lotion or a cream to ensure that it doesn't lose its efficacy. That said, you do not need to wait out for as long as ten minutes, just a couple of minutes would be okay! Coronavirus Outbreak: Wet Hands Can Be a Carrier of Germs, Here's the Cleanest Way to Dry Your Hands after Washing to Prevent COVID-19.

The best CDC-recommended way to use a hand sanitiser is to squeeze out a dollop and rub it well so that it is completely soaked in the skin. Then wait out to apply your favourite hand cream before your hands are completely dry.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 03, 2020 12:30 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).