Be careful with your skin when applying hand sanitizer.
Hand sanitizer is a convenient product to bring along when you are on the go and as a supplement to washing hands, but frequent use of hand sanitizer may irritate the skin, cause hand eczema and increase the risk of skin allergies. It is therefore important which hand sanitizer you use.
Using a hand sanitizer with perfume and other allergenic ingredients may increase the risk of developing skin allergies, resulting in hand eczema. In addition, frequent use of hand sanitizer may reduce the amount of fat in the skin. If the skin barrier is damaged, you are also at a greater risk of developing irritating contact dermatitis on the hands.
What is contact dermatitis? (in Danish)
In the situations where you choose to use a hand sanitizer, we therefore recommend that you choose a sanitizer with The Blue Label from Asthma-Allergy Denmark or the label of Asthma Allergy Nordic. They never contain perfumes or other ingredients that are known to pose a particular risk of allergies.
Requirements for emollients
Hand sanitizers effectively cleanse your hands of bacteria and viruses due to their high alcohol content. But the alcohol also has an irritative and drying effect on the skin.
Therefore, it is a requirement from Asthma-Allergy Denmark that all hand sanitizers with our allergy label contain substances – such as glycerine – which help to maintain the skin barrier. Glycerine is a moisturising substance that helps to retain the skin’s moisture and thus offset the drying effect of alcohol.
Irritated skin when using hand sanitizers
Even if you choose a hand sanitizer with Asthma-Allergy Denmark’s Blue Label or the label of Asthma Allergy Nordic, you may still find that the skin on your hands becomes irritated.
To reduce the risk of irritated skin, you may:
- Apply hand lotion – especially in the evening prior to bedtime – in order to strengthen the skin barrier while you sleep. Choose a hand lotion with Asthma-Allergy Denmark's allergy label. You can find an overview of hand lotions with our label here.
- Limit the use of hand sanitizer, either by washing hands instead or by using disposable gloves whenever possible. Read our guide to allergy-friendly gloves here.
There are a great number of hand sanitizers with Asthma-Allergy Denmark’s allergy label in the market.
Find allergy-labelled hand sanitizers in our database Kemilex.
Search for products in the categories ‘Skin disinfectants’ and ‘Hands and feet’.