COMBATTING DERMATITIS IN HEALTH CARE WORKERS

With healthcare workers consistently using gloves throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it's unsurprising the rate of work-related dermatitis has nearly doubled.

A major review has identified wearing cotton liners under rubber gloves and switching to gentler hand sanitisers as two effective methods to prevent the widespread skin condition.

Researchers from the National University of Malaysia found the prevalence of hand dermatitis among healthcare workers increased from 21 to 37 percent due to the pandemic's normalisation of constant glove use.

The main cause of dermatitis is contact with rubber accelerators in gloves.

Cotton liners under gloves can prevent direct contact and absorb sweat, a major trigger. The researchers recommend gloves, which are slowly entering the market, that are non-powdered, accelerator-free, or made from more natural materials.

Common hand washing methods can increase skin permeability, strip natural oils and moisture, resulting in roughness, irritation, and compromised skin vulnerable to various diseases and infections.

Harsh hand hygiene measures like frequent washing can also worsen dermatitis, but using gentler hand rubs can reduce its severity.

Access the full study here

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