Evaluation of skin problems and dermatology life quality index in health care workers who use personal protection measures during COVID-19 pandemic

Dermatol Ther. 2020 Nov;33(6):e14346. doi: 10.1111/dth.14346. Epub 2020 Oct 12.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the skin problems and dermatological life quality of the health care workers (HCWs) due to personal protection equipment (PPE) use, who are at high risk for COVID-19 infection. A questionnaire about HCWs' PPE use, their skin symptoms, and prevention, management methods and Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) was fulfilled. The median age of 440 participants was 33.5 (21.0-65.0) years old. Skin problems were found to be 90.2%, the most common were dryness, itching, cracking, burning, flaking, peeling and lichenification. The presence of skin problems (P < .001) was higher in those who did not use moisturizers. Of all, 22.3% (n = 98) stated that the use of PPE increased the severity of their previously diagnosed skin diseases and allergies (P < .01). Only 28.0% (n = 123) stated that they know the skin symptoms that may develop by using PPE. The proper hand washing rate was higher as education level increased (P < .001). Skin problems were higher in those using mask with metal nose bridge (P: .02 and P: .003, respectively). As the mask using period prolonged, acne was more common (P: .02). DLQI was significantly affected in women (P = .003), and with increased skin problems related to PPE (P < .001). It is important to organize trainings on prevention and management of possible skin symptoms due to PPE use according to guidelines.

Keywords: COVID-19; dermatology life quality index; health care workers; personal protection equipment; skin.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • COVID-19 / transmission
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / diagnosis
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / etiology*
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / therapy
  • Facial Dermatoses / diagnosis
  • Facial Dermatoses / etiology*
  • Facial Dermatoses / therapy
  • Female
  • Hand Dermatoses / diagnosis
  • Hand Dermatoses / etiology*
  • Hand Dermatoses / therapy
  • Hand Disinfection*
  • Humans
  • Infectious Disease Transmission, Patient-to-Professional / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • N95 Respirators / adverse effects
  • Occupational Health
  • Personal Protective Equipment / adverse effects*
  • Personnel, Hospital*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult