Dear Dr. Roach: Like everyone, I have been using a lot of hand sanitizer and a lot of disinfecting wipes throughout the day. Do these sanitizing products get absorbed through the skin and build up in our bodies? I ask because I have come down with a difficult case of seborrheic dermatitis on my face, though I don’t use any of these products on my face. My facial skin has always been hypersensitive, so I was thinking, if this is my weak spot, maybe the ill effects of the sanitizers and disinfecting wipes would show up there.
Hand sanitizers use alcohol to kill bacteria and disable viruses. The alcohols used in approved sanitizers are not well absorbed through the skin, but if they were, your body is able to metabolize the small amounts that come through.
Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin condition. Although its cause is not well-understood,