Skin & Covid-19
Covid-19 is at the heart of current events and our concerns. This new infectious respiratory disease caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is still poorly understood. All epidemiological data are therefore recorded to understand it better, particularly those related to dermatology. Beyond the pandemic, being confined or not may also affect the skin and its comfort. To help you see more clearly, we offer to explain to you and give you some advices on these issues.
Manager of the skin health education workshops at the Avène hydrotherapy Center.
SKIN SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH COVID-19
On April 6, the French National Association of Dermatology and Venerology, via a WhatsApp group of 400 dermatologists, working in private practice or in hospitals, highlighted skin symptoms that could be associated with Covid-19. Localized or generalized rashes could appear, without however showing signs of seriousness. Small, red, sometimes painful lesions, such as frostbite, may also occur. The French Dermatology Society emphasizes in its COVIDSKIN study, which was started to collect and document cutaneous manifestations that may be associated with Covid-19, that "frostbite is not inaugural and is not a warning sign, especially if it is isolated. There is no argument for the potential contagiousness of these patients." However, if you have any of these symptoms, medical advice is required. The French society nevertheless calls for caution: "not all frostbites are necessarily a sign of Covid, frostbite is still a fairly common dermatosis".
On the front line in the fight of Covid-19, you are wearing a mask every day. Perspiration and pressure caused by wearing the mask can bring about severe rashes or even lesions with a risk of infection. It is therefore important to be vigilant. To help limit irritation, the mask must be positioned on clean and well-moisturized skin (at least 30 minutes before wearing it). You could do this routine using a cleansing lotion for intolerant skin or an oily cleansing gel and a moisturizing cream. If the mask has caused a lot of irritation, in the evening, after cleansing the skin on your face and hands, you can spray thermal water on the most affected areas and pat dry. Then, you can apply a copper and zinc-based repair cream. For hands that are damaged by regular washing with soap and/or hydroalcoholic gel, you can apply moisturising creams or barrier hand creams during the day and a copper-zinc-based repair cream in the evening.
MY SKIN AT THE TIME OF CONFINEMENT OR DECONFINEMENT
Confinement has led to a change in our daily lives, fewer outings, more restricted space, sometimes more stressful situations such as looking after children in addition to teleworking. Some countries have already started deconfinement but still recommend not going out and travelling. Other countries are still in confinement. Whatever the case, for some of you, these situations cause various skin reactions: your skin has become oily or even oilier, small pimples have appeared or, on the contrary, your skin feels tight, you have a real feeling of discomfort, even for pathological skin, you suffer from eczema flare-ups again. Here are a few tips on how to regain some relief and take care of your skin. Nevertheless, in case of severe, persistent signs or doubt, do not hesitate to consult or tele-consult a dermatologist or a doctor. You can also ask your pharmacist for advice.
Your skin is very dry with redness and sometimes itching. This is probably eczema. If you already have skin that is prone to atopic eczema and itching, follow your usual routine and cleanse yourself with lukewarm water and a suitable product, such as a cleansing gel. Then spray thermal water on the driest areas, pat dry and apply a specific cream. You can also apply copper and zinc-based repair creams to the most irritated areas with no lesions. If the condition of your skin does not improve, you may need a corticoid-based treatment. In this case, consult or tele-consult your dermatologist. If these skin conditions are not related to an atopic past, it may be rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis. Rosacea is a skin condition that affects the small blood vessels of the face and is characterized by redness and abnormal dilation of the blood vessels. Seborrheic dermatitis manifests itself by redness and scales. It is linked to the proliferation of yeasts naturally present on the skin, which can be induced by stress. In this case, also consult your dermatologist or doctor.
Stress, which can be generated by the situation you are currently experiencing, induces the release of cortisol hormones which can influence the sebaceous glands and consequently accentuate your acne or generate the onset of acne. A thorough cleansing of the skin in the morning and evening with a cleansing gel for combination skin or skin prone to acne is essential, as well as the application of a cream or an anti-blemish care product.
ADVICES ABOUT WEARING A MASK
For those of you already working at this office or who will be going back soon, wearing a mask can bring about irritations and skin reactions. To help limit irritation, the mask must be positioned on clean and well-moisturized skin (at least 30 minutes before wearing it). You could do this routine using a cleansing lotion for intolerant skin or an oily cleansing gel and a skincare. If the mask has caused a lot of irritation, in the evening, after cleansing the skin on your face and hands, you can spray thermal water on the most affected areas and pat dry. Then, you can apply a copper and zinc-based repair cream.