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Bispebjerg Hospital - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Adverse skin reactions among health care workers using face personal protective equipment during the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic: A cross-sectional survey of six hospitals in Denmark

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DOI

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BACKGROUND: Health care workers (HCWs) report frequent adverse skin reactions (ASRs) due to face personal protective equipment (F-PPE) use during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

OBJECTIVES: To describe self-reported ASRs among HCWs using F-PPE; investigate background factors, such as chronic skin diseases and skin types (dry, oily, combination, sensitive), and determine whether HCWs took preventive methods against ASRs.

METHODS: An online questionnaire was distributed to 22 993 HCWs at hospitals.

RESULTS: The prevalence of ASRs was 61.9% based on 10 287 responders. Different types of F-PPE caused different reactions. The most common ASRs from surgical masks were spots and pimples (37.2%) and from FFP3 masks was red and irritated skin (27.3%). A significantly higher proportion of HCWs with chronic skin diseases had ASRs (71.6%) than those without chronic skin diseases (59.7%) (P < .001). Some skin types were more prone to ASRs (sensitive skin [78.8%] vs dry skin [54.3%]; P = .001). HCWs using F-PPE for >6 hours versus <3 hours per day had a four times higher ASR risk (P = <.001). Nearly all HCWs used preventive and/or counteractive methods (94.2%).

CONCLUSIONS: It is important to consider background factors, such as chronic skin diseases and skin types, to prevent and counteract ASRs due to F-PPE use.

Original languageEnglish
JournalContact Dermatitis
Volume86
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)266-275
Number of pages10
ISSN0105-1873
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors. Contact Dermatitis published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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