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Hand-washing without moisturizing can cause dryness and cracking. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

Human hands have been on the front lines of this coronavirus battle from Day 1.

Long before masks became the mantra, health officials pinpointed hand-washing as the leading course of action to stem the spread of the virus.

It’s little wonder that many of those hands are now beginning to show a toll in this battle.

Prolonged and repeated exposure to water, soap, sanitizer and cleaning agents have caused serious skin problems. Dry, chapped, red and cracking skin are becoming common complaints.

Jackie Eastman, MD, a physician at Spectrum Health Allergy and Immunology, said frequent hand-washing can cause skin dryness and contact dermatitis, which arises in two forms: irritant and allergic.

Irritant dermatitis emerges from a non-immune response in the body, with the skin growing irritated, red and rashy as a result of simple exposure to

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