Indian Journal of Dermatology
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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 67  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 478

A clinico epidemiological study of adverse cutaneous manifestations on using personal protective equipment among health care workers during Covid pandemic in a tertiary care centre

From the Department of Dermatology, Madras Medical College and RGGGH, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
B Yuva Priya
Department of Dermatology, Madras Medical College and Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu - 600 003
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijd.ijd_1157_20

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Background: COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) pandemic was caused by a novel coronavirus. The frontline health care workers (HCW), wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) for a longer duration can result in a spectrum of adverse skin reactions. Recognizing occupationally induced adverse skin manifestations from PPE is necessary to avoid skin damage and risk of infections and to maintain compliance. Aim: This study aimed to determine the prevalence, clinical characteristics of adverse cutaneous manifestations due to PPE, and also the contributing epidemiological factors among HCW in a tertiary care institute. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted for a period of one month. Four hundred fifteen health care workers who used PPE continuously for >4 hours voluntarily participated in this study. By using a self-administered online questionnaire, the information and clinical photographs were collected. Results: The prevalence of adverse skin manifestations was 62.1% (258). The prevalence was more common in females. Mask-related facial skin problems were most commonly reported. Of 74 participants with pre-existing acne lesions, 35 (8.4%) reported acne flare-ups after using PPE. Increased sweating (22.6%) and itching (11%) were the most commonly noted symptoms. Conclusion: This study provides an insight into the prevalence of adverse skin reactions due to prolonged PPE usages, such as N95 masks and latex gloves in particular. Hence dermatological screening of HCW at regular intervals is inevitable to facilitate early management and prevent inadvertent protocol breaches. Further, it proposes the importance of raising proper safety measures to effectively reduce the COVID positivity rate among HCW by minimizing and preventing occupationally induced dermatosis.

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