Irritant contact dermatitis in healthcare workers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study
Kiely, L. F.
Eustace, Joseph A.
Bourke, J. F.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
COVID-19 healthcare workers (HCWs) require frequent handwashing and use of personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent infection. However, evidence is emerging that these practices are causing adverse effects on their skin integrity. A single-centre, cross-sectional study of HCWs from an Irish hospital was undertaken to evaluate the degree of COVID-19-related irritant contact dermatitis (ICD) between April and May 2020. Of 270 participants surveyed, 223 (82.6%) reported symptoms of ICD. The hands were the most commonly affected site (76.47%) and the most frequently reported symptom was dry skin (75.37%). Nearly all (268; 99.26%) HCWs had increased hand-washing frequency, but 122 (45.35%) did not use emollients. In the ICD group, 24.7% cited a history of dermatitis compared with 4.3% of unaffected staff (P < 0.001). The ICD group recorded PPE usage for an average of 3.15 h compared with the non-ICD group at 1.97 h (P = 0.21). Promoting awareness of COVID-19-related ICD is vital to highlight prevention and treatment for frontline staff. Healthcare workers (HCWs) at the front line of the COVID-19 outbreak response are exposed to hazards that put them at risk of infection. Frequent hand hygiene and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) are recommended to prevent transmission of the virus. However, there is evidence to suggest that these practices are having a negative impact on skin health. HCWs in particular represent a high-risk group for developing occupational dermatitis, which can have a multitude of negative effects, including decreased compliance with proper PPE and adequate handwashing. We sought to evaluate the degree to which frontline staff members from a large tertiary hospital have been affected with irritant contact dermatitis (ICD) as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Irritant contact dermatitis , Healthcare workers , COVID-19 pandemic
Kiely, L. F., Moloney, E., O'Sullivan, G., Eustace, J. A., Gallagher, J. and Bourke, J. F. (2020) 'Irritant contact dermatitis in healthcare workers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study', Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 46(1), pp. 142-144. doi: 10.1111/ced.14397
© 2021, British Association of Dermatologists. Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Kiely, L. F., Moloney, E., O'Sullivan, G., Eustace, J. A., Gallagher, J. and Bourke, J. F. (2020) 'Irritant contact dermatitis in healthcare workers as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic: a cross-sectional study', Clinical and Experimental Dermatology, 46(1), pp. 142-144, doi: 10.1111/ced.14397, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/ced.14397. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.