Why health workers remove jewelry and makeup to treat coronavirus sufferers

Since confinement began, mobiles are filled with hundreds of messages about the coronavirus daily . Many memes, many jokes and many recommendations that one does not always know whether to follow or not. One of them is the audio of a woman who claims to have joined the Gregorio Marañón Hospital in Madrid to help the health team in the fight against the virus, which has spread via WhatsApp. “A very important thing that they have not said on television, that I have learned today, is that the coronavirus adheres that you freak out to moisturizers, makeups and others. I have to come with my face completely washed, without any cream on your hands — so you know because I don’t think anyone knows this — and on something else that adheres a lot and very well is to rings, bracelets, earrings, piercings . You have to remove everything, even your nails, because it adheres a lot. to the enamel, “he says in the voice note.

The security measures he mentions are real, but there are nuances. Not wearing jewelry or makeup is a recommendation made to hospital health personnel. In fact, it is the usual procedure to enter the operating room, although now it has been extrapolated to the rest of the centers, explains Reyes Calzado, a pulmonologist at the Santa María de Osakidetza Hospital (Basque Country). “It is a hygiene measure. Operating rooms are the most sterile spaces that we have in hospitals, you have to enter with your hair up and the least amount of things on top, no jewelry or makeup, and unpainted nails. With the coronavirus hospitals try to stay as sterile as possible, “he explains. Too “, who should also always wear gloves, “says Pablo Lázaro, dermatologist and member of the board of directors of the Madrid College of Physicians

Scientific literature endorses the need to remove jewelry to maintain maximum hygiene, they explain from the Madrid College of Physicians. Rings and bracelets prevent specialists from properly washing their hands and this can cause bacteria and other microorganisms to remain on them. Also not wearing nail polish. “It is a surgical measure, which now, given the situation, has been transferred to the other areas of the hospitals,” says Lázaro, who adds that it serves to prevent the skin of the toilets from becoming irritated by mixing the makeup with the products that they use to treat patients. On the contrary, moisturizers can be helpful after washing hands.. Its use is even recommended. “They prevent the appearance of irritation and skin problems that can favor the virus staying longer on it,” adds Lázaro.

But the fact that they are measured in hospitals does not necessarily imply that healthy people confined to their homes should get rid of their rings or remove their nail polish. In fact, experts explain that there is almost no scientific evidence to support viruses attaching more easily to cosmetic products.. “The only study I have found is very old — from the year 88 — and it has nothing to do with the coronavirus,” explains Lázaro, who adds that “there is nothing that shows that the virus survives better in makeup than in skin. ” Despite this and that both specialists agree that the recommendation mentioned in the audio is not for the general population (unless they have patients at home), Lázaro recalls that “the fewer products we touch, the less contagion there will be.” Especially when most of the makeup goes to the face, a place on the body that, however difficult it is, we must avoid touching .


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