At present, the whole world is going through the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which is taking its toll on healthcare workers (HCWs) as well as patients. In fact, HCWs are not only at risk of acquiring the disease but also suffer from various problems related to prolonged work in a stressful situation with full personal protective equipment (PPE), which may lead to adverse cutaneous effects We used search engines to look for data on the dermatological problems in HCWs owing to frequent handwashing and to the use of PPE. The search terms used were ‘COVID-19’, ‘healthcare worker’, ‘dermatoses’, ‘personal protective equipment’, and ‘hand hygiene.’
Healthcare workers are susceptible to various dermatoses caused by multiple confluent factors including working for long hours in PPE, which is usually snug-fitting and includes headgear, masks, goggles, gloves, boot covers, and surgical gowns. They also are subjected to frequent hand cleansing, often more than 20 times a day. All this has led to various dermatoses caused by friction, pressure, humidity, irritation, as well as allergic responses to the equipment used in almost all those who work for prolonged periods in PPE, as shown by various case series and reports. Steps are being formulated to minimize these adverse cutaneous effects through appropriate measures that must be taken by HCWs. Healthcare workers are susceptible to various dermatoses caused by excessive hand hygiene practices and prolonged usage of PPE.
Proper counseling minimizes the morbidity by promoting protective measures.