Rash from hand sanitizer?

  1. I'm a new grad and new to my job. I was using the hand sanitizer a lot today and over a period of about 2 hours started to develop a rash from it on my hands. Sometimes it would burn while I was in school (if my hands were super dry or if I had cuts) but I never had any reactions like this.

    Has anyone else run in to this problem? I really hope it's just a fluke and not an allergy I've suddenly developed
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  2. 21 Comments

  3. by   Sparrowhawk
    Could be drying your skin out..use lotion.
  4. by   dthfytr
    Try using cold water. If that helps, you're at less risk using cold water with the soap or sanitizer than you are by using warm or hot and having excoriated skin.
  5. by   SnowStar4
    I get a rash from the foaming brand my hospital uses. Luckily we have two different kinds and lots of soap.
  6. by   ilmbg
    Don't be fooled by hand sanitizers- or try to fool your patient inatvertantly! Hand sanitizers are not as effective and last for about 2-3 minutes. Nothing is better than taking the time to do a soap handwash- and it isn't as drying.
  7. by   sweetER
    I have to disagree with the above post. Studies have shown hand sanitizer to be just as effective as washing with soap. Neither sanitizer or soap stay on your hands and provide lasting germ protection; if they did we wouldn't have to wash/sanitize before/after every patient. That being said, my current hospital uses Steris brand foam, sanitizer and soap and they all break my hands out horribly. Within a couple of uses I get a red, blistering rash that burns. My solution was talking with my manager and getting permission to use Germ-Ex, which is also 60% alcohol like the hospital sanitizer but doesn't cause a rash. Maybe try different brands and see what works for you and then talk with your manager.
  8. by   ZippyGBR
    could be one of the excipients in the brand that particular place uses ... becasue 70 % isoporpyl alchol ( with out withoutr2 % chlorhexidine) alone is a thing watery liquid , but most sanitisers have some kkind of additive to make it thicker ...

    sometimes washing properly can be useful even if you don't explicitly need to ( i.e. could use just sanistiser)
  9. by   casi
    My hands will occassionally get icky from sanitizer. Espcially in the winter. I ALWAYS use lotion after washing/sanatizing it makes my hands a little bit more happy.
  10. by   1louise1
    Quote from hiddencatRN
    I'm a new grad and new to my job. I was using the hand sanitizer a lot today and over a period of about 2 hours started to develop a rash from it on my hands. Sometimes it would burn while I was in school (if my hands were super dry or if I had cuts) but I never had any reactions like this.

    Has anyone else run in to this problem? I really hope it's just a fluke and not an allergy I've suddenly developed
    i have the same thing; i went to my dermatologist who prescribed a topical steroid to use prn. of course the medicine works, but then i'm back to work, washing, geling, drying my hands out all day and the rash comes back. i'm not sure what the solution is anymore, i wear tegaderm at work, but that doesnt resolve anything.
  11. by   happy2learn
    We have a lotion that is made to match our hand sanitizer. I always use the lotion after, and I only use the sanitizer when I do not have easy access to the sink.
  12. by   jnrsmommy
    I can't use the alcohol based hand sanitizers because they are very irritating to my hands. I found that Gold Bond makes a hand sanitizer/lotion combo that I LOVE, and it doesn't have alcohol in it.
  13. by   happy2learn
    I've used the Gold Bond, loved it too. However, we were told that it doesn't kill as much as the hospital grade sanitizer. Plus they'll confiscate it if they see it. Same as lotion. We are not permitted to use non hospital lotions. They say the lotion breaks down the sanitizer, so we much use the hospital provided lotion. They will confiscate our personal lotions if they see them. So I just use Gold Bond when I'm not at work, and my smell good lotions.
  14. by   hiddencatRN
    Thanks all- I think it might be that particular brand used- I went to another unit to drop a patient off and the sanitizer there was the one that burned and I think caused the initial reaction. I noticed in school that sometimes hand sanitizer burned wickedly (never really noted the brand(s)) but that most of the time it was fine.

    My hands look much better today after sleeping on it, so I'm going to try to figure out if there are a few different formulations my hospital uses. For those who use a different sanitizer- do you just carry it around with you or do you have it in a central location where you use it? I also think I'll make a point to use the soap and water when possible and moisturize frequently throughout the day too.

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