Skin Care While Sheltering

With the COVID-19 crisis ongoing, many communities have been asked to Shelter in Place to limit spread of the virus.  While this is a stressful development, skin care does not need to be sacrificed for the cause. Here are some helpful tips to maintain healthy skin in challenging times.

Hand rashes: Frequent use of hand sanitizers can reduce the spread of viruses.  Unfortunately, these alcohol-based products can create dryness and skin irritation.  If possible, soap and hot water may work equally well to kill germs but may not cause as much dryness.   We have found that using lotion while the skin is still wet, before patting dry, can lock in moisture. When you pat dry after moisturizing, you USE the water, not LOSE the water. 

Skin irritation, coupled with stress triggers, can cause an inflammation called eczema.  In times such as these, eczema can occur even in those with no history of the condition. Skin becomes cracked, itchy and sometimes painful.  It is reasonable to try over the counter hydrocortisone creams at first. If unsuccessful, prescription strength cortisone creams and non-cortisone ointments may be the solution.  Also, cracked skin can lead to bacterial overgrowth, a non-viral infection called impetigo. Over the counter antibiotic creams may help, but unfortunately, some people have or develop allergies to common over the counter ingredients such as bacitracin and Neosporin. Dermatologists can prescribe topical antibiotics or, in worse cases, antibiotic pills to clear the bacteria.  

At Union Square Dermatology, we have set up virtual visits to address these and other issues.  Often, these visits are covered by commercial insurance plans, Medicare, or can be applied to FSA and HSA accounts. Prescriptions can be sent directly to the pharmacy and the creams and pills can be delivered, usually at no extra charge to the patient or insurance. If it helps, reach out to our staff at 415 393-9550 and ask about our teledermatology service. 

Stay safe and let’s get through this together.

Vail Reese, MD

Union Square Dermatology




450 Sutter Street, Suite 830
San Francisco, CA 94108

TEL: 415-393-9550 FAX: 415-393-9556