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More than half of British children are experiencing some type of skin problem associated with their hands, according to a national charity.

The British Skin Foundation (BSF) blames it on the increased need for handwashing since the coronavirus pandemic began.

A BSF study, which involved 250 parents of young children on the effect of frequent handwashing, also found that one in four children are now suffering from hand eczema.

The charity says this is quite a rise since before the pandemic when it was estimated that one in five children experienced eczema at some stage in their childhood.

Additionally, 38 per cent reported dry skin, 17 per cent of children are suffering with cracked skin, whilst alarmingly six per cent are experiencing the distress and pain of bleeding hands.

Dr Paula Beattie, BSF spokesperson and dermatologist at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow said: “Keeping hands clean is a key part in the fight against Covid-19. Although it’s concerning to hear of children suffering with skin problems due to frequent handwashing, thankfully this can be alleviated with the regular use of an unfragranced moisturiser. Encourage your child to get into the routine of moisturising after every hand wash.”

The Children’s Wave

Separately, the BSF has created what it called ‘The Children’s Wave’ to honour the important role that children’s handwashing is playing in the fight against coronavirus.

This virtual Mexican wave lets children show off their clean hands digitally to family and friends.

“Hand hygiene is vital to combat the spread of coronavirus. The Children’s Wave is a fantastic way to celebrate the essential role children have played by keeping their hands clean during the pandemic,” said Dr Sue Mayou, consultant dermatologist and BSF spokesperson.

To get involved with virtual wave, parents can be advised to visit a dedicated website on a mobile phone.

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