In the winter, healthcare workers are more likely to suffer from skin issues, with studies showing that they have a much higher prevalence of dry skin than any other profession.

The use of moisturising creams plays a vital role during the winter months, enabling healthcare workers to maintain healthy skin and continue best practice in performing hand hygiene.

Ensuring best practice

Hand cleaning with soap or sanitiser is crucial all year round but in the winter months, when there is more exposure to people catching colds, performing hand hygiene is the most effective way to prevent their spread.

However, in the winter months, an increased risk of dry skin means that some healthcare workers can find it difficult to wash their hands as they may feel discomfort.

This can result in a reduced compliance in accordance with the World Health Organisation (WHO) 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene. In turn, this can put patients at risk and increase the spread of infections further.

Implementing an integrated skin care and hand hygiene approach

While washing hands regularly can dry and irritate the hands further, implementing hand hygiene products with added moisturising properties can help prevent dryness and irritation.

It’s also important that moisturising creams are provided which will effectively replenish the skin, allowing staff to continue to perform hand hygiene without having to worry about their hands being sore.

Deb Skin Care offers 3 stages of moisturising cream options to suit different skin types, all of which will keep the skin moist and supple. Healthcare staff should be encouraged to use creams during breaks and in the evenings to keep hands in a healthy condition.

Level 1 – Normal Skin

Products that ensure skin stays in a good condition and prevents dryness from repeated washing.

Level 2 – Dry & Stressed Skin 

Staff with skin sensitivities or already dry and stressed skin will require products that are dye and perfume-free so this should be considered when providing a moisturising cream for them.

Level 3 – Very Dry & Stressed Skin 

For healthcare workers that are suffering with severe skin issues, they will require a specialist skin repair cream that is specially formulated to nurture and regenerate damaged, very dry and stressed skin.

Make healthy hands a priority this winter

The importance of moisturising creams is vital so that healthcare workers can take care of their skin and continue best practice in hand hygiene. If left untreated, it can be a hindrance to them and their job.

In addition to moisturising creams, placing posters in and around settings such as break rooms, near exits and other high-visibility locations will remind staff to keep their skin healthy.

With a recent report revealing “clear warning signs” that the coming winter could be even tougher than the last for the NHS, we must ensure regular use of moisturising creams is considered. To download Deb’s free resources, click here.