NYC Dermatologist’s Advice to Prevent Damage to Hands due to Frequent Hand Washing

Our hands, faces, necks, and chests all require care to maintain a thorough (and consistent!) youthful appearance. We’re all washing our hands more than usual and regularly using high alcohol content hand sanitizers to prevent the spread of germs right now, but this can seriously dry out the skin on our hands, which can lead to uncomfortable dryness or cracking, as well as aging the skin we work so hard to take care of!

Of course, it’s crucial to keep up our hand hygiene, so what can we do to prevent this dryness (known as trans-epidermal water loss) and damage? The first line of defense is to apply a hand cream every single time you wash your hands. This is an important habit to continue even after hand washing frequency decreases.

Some of my favorite hand creams are eos’ Shea Better Hand Cream and Kiehl’s Creme de Corps. Keep an eye out for the same anti-aging ingredients in your hand creams that you look for in your face products – things like hyaluronic acid and ceramides are great!

If you’re looking for a more restorative hand moisturizing treatment, you can apply a thicker hand cream in the evenings, and even wear cotton gloves to bed to trap the moisture and get the most out of your hand cream.

For more anti-aging power, including fighting dark spots, you can gently massage vitamin C serum into the backs of your hands once a day. My go-to is SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic!

Inevitably, our hands will show more age as we lose the fat in between the veins on the backs of our hands. When this happens, we still have procedures to turn back the hands of time in our Upper East Side office! We can use chemical peels or Fraxel Laser treatments to lighten dark spots and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. For further rejuvenation, I have many patients who also love getting filler in those spaces in between their veins. This a super quick treatment with plenty of pay off in restoring a youthful experience to the hands!

If you’re experiencing cracking or inflammation in your hands during this time – due to increased handwashing, or anything else! – contact your dermatologist for a telemedicine consultation as soon as possible to prevent further damage to hands. Our practice can be reached at (212) 220-0776 or by visiting us online at

Follow me on Instagram at @drmarnienussbaum for more skincare advice, or to ask me your skincare questions during my weekly #UnfilteredDerm Q&A sessions!

Marnie B. Nussbaum, M.D., FAAD, is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in non-invasive aesthetic rejuvenation.

There is not a more caring, more attentive, smarter dermatologist than Dr Marnie Nussbaum. I trust her implicitly with anything and highly recommend her.

— Carolyn Rosen


featured in

Beauty, Inspiration & Skincare