Skin Care and Hygiene among Healthcare Professionals During and After the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic |
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Skin Care and Hygiene among Healthcare Professionals During and After the SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic
eMediNexus,  08 July 2022
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The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has compelled healthcare professionals to take added protection against viral transmission, particularly associated with handwashing and personal protective equipment. Few among these requirements may remain for many years in future. However, they are now causing concerns regarding skin hygiene and general care, with damage to the face and hands as a frequent complaint. 

A recent review illustrates optimal skin care during the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and also in the years that will follow. Regular, periodic hand cleaning utilizing soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub (incorporating 60-90% ethanol or isopropyl alcohol) stays crucial, however, the optimal quantity, as well as duration, remains undefined. Gloves provide a reasonable additional barrier; however, further studies are required to optimize the material. Moisturization is beneficial as it provides proven benefits in reducing damage from frequent handwashing. The best is to use an alcohol-based hand rub with added moisturizer, which could be especially beneficial for people with pre-existing hand dermatoses, like psoriasis and eczema. Face moisturization immediately before wearing a mask, and using dressings under the mask to reduce friction, can benefit dermatologically, however, their effects on seal integrity needs to be proven. 

Yet, these actions when added to the institutional plans, can reduce the dermatologic impact of transmission control measures as we overcome the pandemic.

Source: Rivers JK, Arlette JP, DeKoven J, et al. Skin care and hygiene among healthcare professionals during and after the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. SAGE Open Med. 2021;9:20503121211062795. 

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