Can Sweat Carry Viruses? Skin Questions in the Time of COVID-19

Can sweat carry COVID-19? 

How do I take care of my hands when I’m washing them so much? 

Why is my body odor so bad right now? 

Life is full of changes and stressors at the moment, and you might have some interesting skin questions as a result. Here are quick-shot answers to help.

Can sweat carry viruses?

Experts say there is little evidence that sweat alone can transfer harmful germs (like the virus that causes COVID-19) unless that sweat were to come in contact with an open cut on the skin (which is not how COVID-19 is believed to infect people, anyway). Much more relevant: if you’re concerned someone else’s sweat might get you sick, you’re probably not keeping the appropriate physical distance of 6 feet or wiping down surfaces appropriately. 

My hands are raw from all the washing and sanitizing… what can I do? 

First, kudos to you for frequent, thorough hand washing and sanitizing. Unfortunately, all this hand hygiene can lead to dry, red, itchy skin as well as pain, flaking, and cracking. To help, UCLA Health recommends a mild, fragrance-free soap, warm (not hot) water, and applying a gentle hand cream after every cleansing. Keep travel sizes with you and keep up the good work. 

Why so stinky? 

Feeling stressed? Who isn’t?! Unfortunately, with stress can come increased sweating from our apocrine sweat glands (found mostly in the armpits and genital region). Apocrine or “stress” sweat doesn’t evaporate very easily and can lead to odor when it combines with bacteria on the surface of our skin. 

Another possible reason for increased body odor while “sheltering in place”? Changes in hygiene routines. Daily bathing, fresh clothing, and antiperspirant or deodorant use can help us look, feel and smell our best, even if the only people who notice are family members and Zoom friends. 

If you think you sweat too much, Certain Dri is still here and best practice recommendations remain as easy as one… two…

  1. Apply at night before bed. 
  2. Apply to completely dry skin.

The whole Certain Dri team wishes you and your loved ones safety and health now and always.