Skincare for Manual Labor Jobs

Skincare for Manual Labor Jobs Oct 4, 2023 / by Complete Family Dermatology Team

Many think of skincare as a superficial luxury reserved for high-maintenance people. But skincare is actually healthcare, and everyone should have a routine. That's especially true for those in manual labor jobs because of their constant exposure to the sun and hazardous chemicals. If you don't care for and protect your skin, it can result in dryness, excessive oil production, sensitivity, and redness. It can even lead to skin diseases and premature aging. Here are some skincare tips specifically for those in manual labor.  
Wear Gloves
Extended exposure to various substances, even water, can weaken the skin's protective barrier. It can lead to contact dermatitis or eczema, a chronic skin condition that leaves the skin itchy and inflamed. The best prevention is avoiding exposure altogether. But if that's not possible at work, wear gloves. Find the right type for the tasks you perform. You might need fabric gloves for dry work and a waterproof pair for washing and cleaning. Stay away from rubber gloves if your skin is already damaged or sensitive. Avoid powdered rubber latex gloves, too, because they can cause allergies. Find gloves that fit you well, and don't share them with co-workers. Replace gloves with holes in them, and don't reuse disposal gloves.  
Use a Suitable Hand Cleanser
Handwashing after potential contamination is a crucial skincare step to prevent contact dermatitis. However, excessive handwashing can also irritate and inflame the skin. In addition, refrain from washing with hot water because it can do more harm than good. Opt for cold or warm water instead. As for hand cleansers, there are various types to choose from. Certain soaps can exacerbate eczema. Go for soaps that are free of allergens, fragrances, and dyes. Soap substitutes are another option. They don't contain soap or sodium lauryl sulfate and are less irritating. They also have a similar pH level to the skin, making them more suitable for dry or sensitive skin. Alcohol-based hand rubs are also now becoming popular in manual labor industries. They lessen the need for constant handwashing with soap and don't require handwashing facilities.  
Use a Protective Cream in the Morning and Moisturizer at Night
Before putting your hands to work, apply a protective cream to create a barrier between your skin and chemicals. It will help lessen direct contact with contaminants, retain the skin's moisture, and protect natural lipids. Protective creams also keep your hands more comfortable while wearing gloves during work. In addition, it'll be easier to clean your hands at the end of the day. After a hard day's work, make it a point to pamper and moisturize your skin. One option is to use a greasy ointment. They're usually clear and thick and are ideal for dry, damaged, and calloused skin. Another option is to lather on some moisturizing lotion. They're thin and watery, making them perfect for those who don't like feeling greasy. However, creams and ointments will moisturize your skin more efficiently.  
Wear Sunblock
If possible, choose sunblock over sunscreen as your protection of choice. Sunblock is better at reflecting the sun's harmful rays, is suitable for people with allergies, and doesn't contain chemicals. But whether you use sunblock or sunscreen, ensure it's at least SPF 30. An SPF of 30 can protect you from 97% of UVB rays, while an SPF of 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays. In addition, choose a broad-spectrum product. That way, you have protection against both UVB and UVA rays. UVA protection is just as crucial because exposure to UVA rays can lead to premature skin aging and skin cancer.  
Give Your Skin the Care It Deserves
Manual labor jobs can take a toll on the skin. Without a proper skincare routine, you put yourself at higher risk for occupational skin diseases. Give your skin the care it deserves by protecting, cleaning, and moisturizing it. For more information, contact Complete Family Dermatology at (402) 423-1111.

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