Dermatological impact of hand hygiene practices during COVID-19: A cross-sectional web-based survey among doctors in a tertiary care hospital in Eastern India

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2023 Jan;22(1):21-25. doi: 10.1111/jocd.15508. Epub 2022 Dec 1.


Background: The COVID-19 pandemic continues to persist throughout the world with intermittent exacerbation. The changing trend of hand hygiene practices during this pandemic has led to new onset or aggravation of pre-existing hand eczema, especially among doctors. There is a paucity of studies regarding skin changes seen with changing hand hygiene practices in the Indian subcontinent.

Objectives: To estimate the frequency of various cutaneous manifestations and associated factors with hand hygiene practices in doctors during COVID-19 via a web-based online questionnaire survey.

Methods: It was a cross-sectional web-based survey conducted at a tertiary care teaching institute from July 2021 to September 2021. Those doctors (faculty, residents, and interns) of the hospital completing the questionnaire with electronic informed consent were included in the study.

Results: A total of 143 doctors completed the survey. The most common symptoms were dryness in 60 (42%) and itching in 25 (17.5%) doctors. The most common skin changes were scaling in 30 (21%) and redness in 16 (11.2%) doctors. There was a significant association between skin changes and frequency of hand washing and hand sanitizer use (p value < 0.05).

Conclusion: The prevalence of hand changes and symptoms was 77% in doctors in our study. The most commonly seen hand changes were scaling followed by redness and symptoms observed were dryness and itching.

Keywords: COVID-19; doctors; hand hygiene practices; hand sanitizer; hand washing.

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19* / epidemiology
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Hand Hygiene*
  • Humans
  • Internet
  • Pandemics / prevention & control
  • Pruritus
  • Tertiary Care Centers