Is Covid Ruining Your Skin? Here’s What You Can Do to Fix It

Expert approved hacks to combat the effects of the virus on your skin 

As we battle with the second wave of Covid 19 or  Coronavirus 2(SARS-Cov-2), we need to keep in mind that it can affect us in many ways. While it is known to causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, it can also compromises our skin immunity and barrier function. To help you understand better how it can take a toll on your skin and what you need to do to fix it, we got Vandana Luthra, founder VLCC, to talk about skin immunity.

1. Rashes: The virus can also trigger red rashes all over the body. “It is also associated with multiple hypersensitivity reactions like urticaria. Many patients have observed Acral Erythema ( redness of palms and soles),” says Vandama  

What you can do: If you get rashes, you need to be treated with antihistamines. But at home Vandana suggests that as a placebo rose water, lacto calamine, wet ice pack wraps, finely ground oatmeal, petroleum jelly, manuka honey with olive oil or coconut oil can be used on the affected areas. Avoid using warm water on your skin as it further dries up the skin and aggravates rashes. 

2. Excessive dryness: Excessive use of sanitisers leads to dry hands and in some cases causes eczema(cracking of palms, redness, scaling of skin).

What you can do: “Moisturise your skin frequently as all sanitisers have an alcohol base that causes dryness of skin which further leads to itchiness and even eczema. If any severe rashes appear on your palms, get them treated by a qualified dermatologist,” advises Vandana. 

3. Maskne: Constant use of masks leads mask acne and multiple rashes over the face, especially the bridge of the nose, lower half of the cheeks, lips and the jawline and to an extent the upper part of the neck also.

What you can do: “Mask acne can be prevented by changing the mask at regular intervals. Keep your skin clean by using mild antibacterial soaps and face wash. Apply lightweight oil-free moisturiser and try to get as much mask free period when at home,” says Vandana. The acne can get aggravated by makeup or greasy sunscreens and thick moisturisers. Avoid using makeup till the acne clears up.

4. Hairloss: Post Corona like any other viral exanthem (an eruptive skin rash) the redness subsides in 2 to 4 weeks, leaving no hyper pigmentation or marks. However, “it precipitates ‘telogen effluvium’ in hair (that is, the patient  experiences hair loss after 8 to 12 weeks of the of the infection).  Telogen effluvium is a non scarring diffuse hair loss from the scalp that occurs around 2 -3 months after the triggering event and is usually self-limiting, lasting about six months.,” says Vandana

What you can do: “This is ideally treated through medical therapies such as Platelet Rich Plasma, Growth Factor Concentrate,  Platelet Rich Fibrin Matrix , Mesoscalp therapies and combination therapies with Polydioxanone  threads,” says Vandana. She adds that home remedies don’t usually arrest hair fall. You need to consult a dermatologist to get a prescription for topical application of Cysteine, Lysine, Glycoprotein or in some cases Minoxidil.