Occupational Dermatoses in Health Care Personnel Using PPE during the COVID Pandemic

Author(s): Dinesh P Asati, Kapil Baheti*, Maninder Kaur, Suman Patra, Kritika Singhal

Background: A sudden surge of occupation-associated dermatoses among the healthcare workers (HCWs) serving COVID-19 patients have been witnessed recently due to increased usage of PPE (PPE) kits and increased frequency of hygiene practices, with a significant impact on their quality of life and compromised efficacy at work. Hence, this study was conducted to measure the prevalence of occupational dermatoses among HCWs serving Covid-19 patients using PPE kits and hygiene practices and their impact on quality of life.

Methods: HCWs of all cadres were screened for occupation-associated dermatoses. Cases with occupational dermatosis were further evaluated regarding using a PPE kit, and DLQI was calculated.

Results: 19% of HCWs had dermatoses associated with PPE and hygiene practices. Hands were most affected, followed by the face, nasal bridge, and facial skin in contact with goggles. 48% had Mathias score >/= 4. Most cases had reported some impact on their quality of life. A significant association could be established between frequency of hand washing >/= 10 times/day with hand dermatitis (p=0.000).

Conclusion: The use of PPE has significantly raised cases of occupational dermatosis among HCWs. Repeated hand washing and hand sanitizer use has increased the incidence of hand dermatitis.

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