Face masks and hand sanitiser: could they affect your allergies?

hand sanitiser

Face masks and hand sanitiser: could they affect your allergies?

In recent months, we’ve all become accustomed to wearing face masks while out in public and constantly washing our hands with hand sanitiser. This is to prevent us catching and spreading the coronavirus, keeping us and our loved ones safe.

But having to follow these steps might make some people with allergies or sensitive skin worry. From breakouts to dried, painful skin, people with contact dermatitis will be wary of what comes into contact with their face and hands.

Hand sanitiser

To protect you against germs, the alcohol content in hand sanitiser needs to be at least 60%. The problem is that alcohol breaks down the protective barrier on your skin too. For people with sensitive skin, it could lead to more symptoms they don’t like. Things like flaky skin or maybe even blistering.

You should also look at the other ingredients in hand sanitiser, such as dye and fragrances. There may be an ingredient in there which can cause painful flare-ups. If this happens, consider putting it to one side for now and consult with your doctor. They may have a more ideal product for you. 

If you have contact dermatitis, you may already be familiar with products you can use to keep your hands safe. Keep them well moisturised and talk with a specialist if anything changes.

Face masks

The government has mandated we must wear a mask when out in public. For the majority, this is fine. But those with sensitive skin might be wary about wearing something new. When buying a new mask, see if you can find out the material it is made from to see if you would react to it.

If you have a reusable mask that needs washing, you should also be careful about what detergent you use. Though you most likely have something ready that you use on your other clothes.

Something that has become a new problem is being referred to as “maskne” (mask acne). Maskne refers to bumps, rashes, and other skin problems that people get around their nose and mouth, likely due to face masks. Those with existing skin problems are most likely to develop maskne, so be careful when using your mask for long periods.

Protecting yourself and others is extremely important. Unfortunately for some, it may be the case that that irritation is more sinister than it seems. If this is you, then don’t feel you have to suffer just because it’s what the government says. Talk to an allergy specialist who should be able to give you the advice you need to live comfortably and safely.

If you’re looking for more insight into your allergies or would like an allergy test, or simply need advice, get in touch now on 02031 433 449.

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