Research has already been conducted showing solvents, cleaners, chemicals and other potentially toxic materials are extremely harmful to your skin. Approximately, 13 million workers are exposed to potentially harmful disorders and skin diseases every year. Skin is our bodies natural layer of protection from different diseases and infections. When we stop taking care of our skin, we have a much greater chance of infection and even life threatening diseases. This article is designed to build awareness of how important your skin is and how you can protect it using cream barriers while you are at work.
A barrier cream is used in industrial applications and as a cosmetic to place a physical barrier between the skin and contaminants that may irritate the skin (contact dermatitis or occupational dermatitis). Occupational contact dermatitis (OCD) represents 90% of all occupational skin diseases, of which the annual incidence is 9.1-31.7 per 100,000 workers. Change of job occurs in 29-72% of the cases. The European OCD prevalence, during a defined 1-year period, is estimated to be between 6.7 and 10.6%.
Acute or chronic direct exposure to irritants can lead to irritant contact dermatitis, which represents 80% of all OCDs. Irritant contact dermatitis is usually caused by a non-immunological reaction which may be immediate or cumulative over time. It is found mainly in wet-work occupations such as household cleaning workers, dish washers, people who work in the food industry such as bakers, health care workers, hairdressers or metal workers. Some extraprofessional activities like gardening, domestic work or do-it-yourself could be a confounding factor.
dry, Damaged and rough skin do increase the penetration of substances in the stratum corneum, acting as a reservoir for the substances which have already penetrated.
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Why do we use barrier creams?
Even though our skin is a natural barrier that help protecting us, personal protective gear which is designed to keep our skin safe is extremely necessary. PPE gloves will help us to reduce exposure many of many contaminants that can be harmful and make us sick. Our skin is able to absorb contaminants into our body and make us sick. That is why clothing like jackets, gowns and sleeves can help protecting your skin at work. Without the proper protection, workers are put at a high risk for diseases like contact dermatitis which is induced by chemical exposure to the skin. As a matter of fact, 10-15% of all occupational illnesses are contact dermatitis. This billion dollar problem continues to affect millions of workers every year. I believe that engineering out the hazards are the best solution. PPE (Personal protection equipment) is another means to help reduce Contact Dermatitis and other skin conditions.
Some occupations are prone to skin disease caused by contact with substances such as cutting oils; glass fiber, chemicals, degreasants and some horticultural agents (eg slug pellets). The main condition is dermatitis, in a variety of forms.
The use of barrier creams, although traditional in many occupations, should not be considered as personal protective equipment. It provides negligible protection and is unlikely to be effective in preventing deseases such as contact dermatitis. The benefit of barrier creams is in the prevention of dirt from becoming so ingrained that it is difficult to clean out.
How do I take care of my skin?
A properly implemented skin-care hygiene programme, including barrier creams, emollient and skin-conditioning creams can help protect and replace the natural skin oil which is otherwise removed by degreasants and solvents. Before undertaking this, advice should be sought from independent skin-care specialists or a dermatologist.
Among skin creams, two types of products for hand protection may be found: barrier protection creams or ‘barrier’ creams (BCs) and barrier repair creams. Barrier creams are used to prevent the irritant effect caused by occupational exposure and are recommended for application before and during work. Some authors call them prework creams. They have also been called ‘invisible gloves’ but the term ‘skin protective creams’ is much more suitable. The objective of the barrier creams is to prevent or delay cutaneous penetration of substances into the skin which could have harmful effects at the time of skin contact or induce systemic effects due to percutaneous absorption. Barrier creams are therefore used to reduce the irritant effect of substances, preventing irritant contact dermatitis. Barrier repair creams, also called ‘regeneration creams’, ‘conditioning creams’, ‘emollients’ or ‘moisturizers’, are intended to enhance hydration by way of the hygroscopic action of humectants, such as amino acids, urea, glycerine, lactic acid (LA) or pyrrolidone carboxylic acid, and to restore the skin’s natural barrier. They are especially recommended for use after work.
Are barrier creams that effective?
Despite lots of controversies, studies have showed that barrier creams and moisturizers may have a defensive effect in some occupations including metal printing and dye work, however without statistical significance reached from different studies.
Enlarging the focus on controlled trials investigating BCs against cutaneous irritants, there is a systematic analysis in order to see if complementary data could be found on their effectiveness. Identifying 39 controlled trials investigating the effect of BCs against skin irritants in a total of 929 volunteers (172 men, 279 women and 481 unspecified subjects) with healthy skin (n = 28), hand dermatitis (n = 1), skin sensitized to a specific allergen (n = 4) and 1 study on latex glove allergens. From these papers, studies on excised skin have been discarded, and only trials on subjects with healthy and non-sensitized skin were retained, reducing the list to fewer trials (27 trial). Untreated skin was used in each trial as a control. The skin localizations in subjects were the forearms (n = 15), back (n = 8), hands (n = 3), forearms and back (n = 1). Stokoderm® (n = 3), Taktosan® (n = 3), Kerodex 71® (n = 2) and Arretil® (n = 2) are the 4 most frequently investigated creams. Several articles mention only the composition of the creams studied with no commercial name. The amounts of BC used range from 0.25 to 20 mg/cm2 and from 2 to 25 µl/cm2. The most used irritants are sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS, hydrophilic model, n = 16) and toluene (lipophilic model, n = 9). Sodium hydroxide (NaOH, n = 7) and LA (n = 5) are other common irritants tested. Their concentrations range, according to the authors, from 0.5 to 10% for SLS, from 0.5 to 4% for NaOH and from 15 to 30% for LA, whereas toluene was used pure (>99%). The quantity of irritants used is often not specified. However, a range from 0.03 to 1 ml of SLS was applied (specified in 6 trials) and from 0.05 to 0.1 ml for NaOH (specified in 3 studies). The contact time of irritants ranges from 5 s to 24 h but the most frequent contact time is 30 min (n = 11) and 24 h (n = 4). Repetitive irritation tests, including repetitive occlusive irritation tests and tandem repetitive irritation tests, were performed in 11 studies. The assessment methods often consist of clinical scoring of irritation after cutaneous patch tests (n = 17) and bioengineering methods which are habitually evaporimetry (n = 17), colorimetry (n = 12), corneometry (n = 7), flow velocimetry by Doppler laser (n = 6), spectrometry (n = 3) or other more infrequently used methods. Two studies showed an increased penetration of the irritant, and the irritation increased in 3 trials. Table 2 displays the protective effects of the 4 most used BCs. It shows that Stokoderm was effective against SLS 0.5% and toluene in 2 studies.
The efficiency of this same BC against Oil Red O (a staining dye) was confirmed by only 1 study. Taktosan was found to be effective against SLS 10% in 2 different studies. Fourteen patch test studies assessed by scoring and evaporimetry were selected to better compare the results. In this table
, which reports the presence or absence of efficiency of the named barrier creams on the 4 most used irritants, we can see that barrier creams seem to have protective effects against SLS, NaOH and LA, but not against toluene.
the selected studies have not been conducted under the same conditions: study design, creams, irritants used and assessment methods. One must also take into account skin temperature, pH, the thickness of the layer of cream, the number of applications, drying time before exposure, time required for application, time in contact with the irritant, concentrations and quantities of the irritant agents, areas of the body studied (back, hands or forearms), subjects studied (gender and ethnicity), presence or absence of occlusion and the length of the study. Human skin is also characterized by an interindividual variability. In the workplace, irritants are often a mixture of various substances, yet the trials selected in this study were carried out with isolated irritants. Duration of exposure, frequency of exposure and concentration of the irritant are 3 factors affecting occupational exposure. Because OCD is often the outcome of chronic exposure, the repetitive irritation test procedure could reproduce conditions closer to occupational exposure than studies with single contact. Concerning the application of barrier creams, an effectual layer and an efficient time for drying are also needed. It has also been shown in previous researches about the self-application of a protection cream that some certain areas of both hands were not well protected.
The cream range of quantities applied is very wide as found. However, the quantities of the barrier creams per one’s skin surface area is used in experiments that might be far from those which are used in real life conditions, leading to a serious overestimation of the barrier creams’ efficacy.
While occupational skin diseases usually involve hands in more than 90% of cases, the most frequent application sites, are the forearms and back. Overall, the studies have not taken into account friction movements which occur in realistic situations nor do they consider perspiration, resulting in an overestimation of the efficacy of barrier creams. By contrast, some scientists suggest that barrier creams should only be used for exposure to mild irritants (water, detergents, organic solvents or cutting oils) because they cannot neutralize a high dose of irritant. Indeed, after saturation, the agents sequestered in the layer of cream continue to penetrate the skin if the substances are not inactivated by barrier creams. This explains the potential of some barrier creams to bring contact dermatitis and to increase the skin’s vulnerability to irritants. As may be seen in table above, protection against toluene is very low and must be improved in the future. Only primary protection of as yet uncompromised skin can be of optimal efficacy in the prevention of OCD
The comparability of trials evaluating the efficiency of beach creams is affected by the lack of standardization even if a trend toward some degree of protection seems to be suggested, although vehicles appear to be just as efficient. The repetitive irritation test procedure is closer to the reality and could be used to assess exposures to one or more irritants.
However, the prevention of OCD goes beyond the pure application of barrier creams. Efforts should focus on field randomized controlled studies of skin protection programmes with standardized clinical and biophysical assessments. It is a product which is applied directly to the skin surface to help keep and preserve the skin’s physical barrier, providing protection from irritants and preventing the skin from drying out. Your skin tissue is frequently exposed to various irritating substances in the workplace, particularly for wet work (work involving wet hands or hand washing), which can lead to the development of occupational contact dermatitis (also known as eczema is inflammation of the skin, typically characterized by itchiness, redness and a rash). Barrier creams are a type of skin cream used to protect your hand; they are categorized as barrier protection creams or barrier creams and barrier repair creams. They are used to prevent irritation caused by occupational exposure to irritants and are recommended to be applied before and during work. A barrier cream is a product applied directly to the skin surface to help maintain the skin’s physical barrier, providing protection from irritants and preventing the skin from drying out. They can also stop trans epidermal water loss and skin breakdown by providing a topical barrier on the skin. The barrier cream can also heal skin tears and existing wounds by acting as a shield against potential irritants, they create the ideal environment for damaged skin to restore itself. Barrier products can also be formulated as pastes, ointments and sprays. They can also make it easier to remove paint, glue, or sealant from hands during or after industrial or occupational work, without necessitating the use of harsh solvents. They persist on the skin for several hours, even after gentle washing. They are applied sparingly and reapplied as necessary. They are useful for hand care as they are designed to protect against the harm from detergents and other irritants. To help prevent the spread of pathogens, health care providers are required to wash their hands frequently. Frequent hand washing can result in chronic damage termed irritant contact dermatitis which includes dryness, irritation, itching, and more seriously, cracking and bleeding. Irritant contact dermatitis is very common among nurses, ranging from 25% to 55%, with as many as 85% relating a history of having skin problems. The World Health Organization has considered the use of barrier creams and has found their efficacy to be “equivocal” and too expensive to be considered in health-care settings where resources are limited.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found “Two recent randomized, controlled trials that evaluated the skin condition of caregivers demonstrated that barrier creams did not yield better results than did the control lotion or vehicle used. As a result, whether barrier creams are effective in preventing irritant contact dermatitis among health-care workers remains unknown.
Barrier creams have been used in industry to protect workers’ skin from the contaminants encountered in occupations such as nurses, hairdressers, employees in the food processing industry, cleaners, metal workers, printers, bricklayers etc.
A 2018 review concluded that the use of moisturizers alone or in combination with barrier creams may result in important protective effects for the prevention of Occupational Irritant Hand Dermatitis (OIHD) Barrier creams can be applied before exposure to potential irritants, but they are not typically used as the main protection against hazardous substances, as they are a poor substitute for protective clothing for workers; in particular, gloves provide greater protection. However, barrier creams are reasonably effective for protection of the face against some airborne substances. Active barrier creams containing silicone, tartaric acid, glycerin, and other ingredients are said to be beneficial for some chromate-sensitive construction workers.
Are all barrier creams the same?
The mechanism differs between barrier creams as they vary by product. The three categories of barrier creams that are used are water-soluble creams water repellent creams, and creams designed for special applications. Moisturizing barrier cream acts as a lubricating film layer on the skin to prevent depletion of water (trans epidermal water loss) in the skin’s outermost surface layer, the stratum corneum. This may have a protective effect against irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis, which often result from such depletion. These barrier creams can be classed as occlusive (which prevent loss through a hydrophobic effect), humectants (which absorb water from the dermis and environment due to hygroscopy), or hydrating agents (which both moisturize the skin and maintain its water content). Barrier creams may contain substances such as zinc oxide, talc or kaolin to layer over the skin. Other barrier creams are intended to protect the skin from some external agents, though they are not sufficient to provide a complete barrier. Always put in mind that a moisturizer hydrates the outer layer of the skin while barrier creams restore the skin barrier itself. Barrier creams repair damaged skin, allow the skin to heal itself, and are usually thicker, while moisturizers enhance skin hydration.
Since they act as a protective seal on the skin—face and body—and therefore, prevent anything you apply on top from being absorbed properly, you’re best off using a barrier cream last in your daytime routine or slathering it on over your serum at night for an intensive hydration session. You can use a barrier cream every 40 to 72 hours, and I recommend using it as your final step in your skincare regime and after you moisturize. You should apply barrier cream last because any other product you apply afterward will not penetrate the skin,
Certain products that work especially well with barrier creams, encouraging them to perform better. For example, “If you use anti-aging serums or peptides for your skin, the barrier cream may help these products penetrate the skin more easily but remember to apply barrier cream last. When using barrier creams, avoid sodium lauryl sulfate to avoid irritation of the skin. luckily, most barrier creams can be used safely and effectively with no side effects; however, if you experience any irritation after using a barrier cream that persists or worsens, it’s best to stop use immediately and consult a medical professional.
Ensure you only use a thin layer of a barrier cream when needed, as too much can interfere with the protection of the product. Massage the product in gently. A pea sized application should cover approximately the area of the palm of the hand. If the skin appears oily then too much cream has been applied.
Normally, it should be re-applied every 48 to 72 hours. However, if there is severe incontinence, re-apply every fourth wash. If there is high wound exudate every 24 hours. Moisture barrier creams are incredibly easy to use, as long as proper cleaning procedures are followed first. Never apply a moisture barrier cream to a soiled perineal area. Follow these simple steps to
protect patients against skin deterioration and enhance their comfort. First clean the skin with a mild skin soap then pat the skin dry or allow to air dry after that you can apply a thin layer of moisture barrier cream to the affected area. you can Repeat above steps after each incontinence episode
Rub a pea sized barrier cream onto place to cover the entire affected area that you’re trying to protect. And just gently massage it until you don’t see any shine to the skin if you if the skin looks kind of greasy or oily.
Best Barrier Creams For Hands
That being said let me list you some of the best top tier barrier creams!
This product is well known as it Intensively moisturises and Relieve, soften and replenish irritated, dry, rough and itchy skin, it is soothing and forms a barrier on the skin. It also maintains the skin’s pH at a healthy level, has no steroids, no added colour or fragrance, no lanolin, parabens or mineral oils. All for a good price as well.
Derma Shield is clinically proven not only as a barrier cream but also to enhance the effectiveness of hand sanitisers, creating a much lower bacterial count compared to using sanitiser alone without the barrier cream. It also provides moisture, nurture and protection. It also forms an invisible shield that protects skin, whilst pharmaceutical grade moisturisers help maintain your skin’s correct hydration levels and Vitamin E and Aloe Vera encourage a supple, itch-free outer layer. Great cream no sting no smell great for sore skin caused by skin on skin rubbing together. Only need a small amount smooth not sticky like other similar creams may seem expensive but worth every penny for the relief it gives.
UK MANUFACTURED TO MEDICAL STANDARD — to Medical Device Standard ISO 13485:2016
It is a transparent and quick drying action barrier cream. It also offers a Long-lasting protection which is something you should be looking for.
It is also great for the protection of your skin which is exposed to many body fluids, adhesive and friction during the day.
It provides great moisturising effects which will keep your skin healthy and fresh.
Also suitable for mild, moderate and severe skin damage.
This barrier cream is dermatologically tested and can be used for your everyday skin care routine.
It contains 100% natural Australian Tea Tree Oil of pharmaceutical quality. Every single natural active ingredient was carefully selected for each intimate product. All products from Australian Bodycare are dermatologically tested and 100% vegan. it does not stick to you and feels very comfortable with a good price too.
Using Cavilon Durable Barrier Cream regularly on intact skin can help prevent breakdown caused by regu lar exposure to urine and stool associated with incontinence
It is also Chlorhexidine compatible, so will not interfere with the activity of CHG. It is also latex glove compatible
Contains Dimethicone for skin protection
It also helps with bedsores and any other sore you get when you can’t walk. This has no scent which is great. it’s a very thick the cream and you only need to use a very small pea sized amount.
I hope that I helped you knowing the importance of barrier creams and how to apply them and which product to buy!