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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 80

Dermatologic problems associated with personal protective equipment in health-care workers managing COVID-19 patients

1 Skin Research Center, Department of Dermatology, Razi Hospital, School of Medicine, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran
2 Razi Clinical Research Development Unit, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rasht, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rana Rafiei
Department of Dermatology, Skin Research Center, School of Medicine, Razi Hospital, Guilan University of Medical Sciences, Rana Rafiei, Rasht
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jrms.jrms_921_21

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Background: The safety of health-care workers (HCWs) during the COVID-19 pandemic is a major concern worldwide. Dermatological problems due to personal protective equipment are annoying issues. We aimed to evaluate dermatological adverse events following the use of these protections in HCWs managing COVID-19 patients. Materials and Methods: One hundred and fifty-six workers managing COVID-19 patients were enrolled in this cross-sectional study. We conducted face-to-face interviews to collect the data and focused mainly on protection type and mucocutaneous symptoms with new onset or exaggeration after this equipment. Results: Dermatological problems following protective equipment usage occurred mainly during the 1st week (65.4%). The most common site of skin involvement was the nose (82.7%) and the most frequent visible complaints were the pressure effect and erythema on the nose in 80.8% and 57.7% of cases, respectively. There was a significant association between mask type and facial skin problems (P < 0.001). The main symptoms were itching (21.8% scalp, 39.1% face and body) and burning sensation (14.1% scalp, 23.7% face and body). Skin desquamation (37.2%) and dorsal hand dermatitis (41.66%) were significantly more frequent in atopic participants (P = 0.02 and P = 0.01, respectively). Hand involvement was significantly associated with frequency of hand washing (odds ratio = 1.97, 95% confidence interval = 1.04–3.74, P = 0.03). Conclusion: We found that skin problems related to protective equipment were common and frequently located on the face mainly due to facial masks. These complications should be prevented by proper use of this equipment.

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