A Cross-sectional Study on Cutaneous Sideeffects Associated with Mask Usage among
Doctors during COVID-19 Pandemic
Dr. K Shankar,
No. 4-7-7/91, Raghavendra Nagar, Nacharam, Hyderabad-500076, Telengana, India.
Introduction: The Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has brought major changes in peopleâ€™s lifestyle, especially in healthcare workers. Healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients are spending long hours wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). There are reports of adverse skin reactions secondary to wearing PPE, especially face masks. However, it is essential to wear the protective equipment.
Aim: To assess the proportion of doctors who report adverse skin reaction after the use of face masks and enlist the skin reactions reported. Also to study the relationship between certain suspected factors and occurrence of skin reactions.
Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted using a questionnaire containing both open and closed ended questions which was distributed through online platform. The questionnaire contained details on the type of mask, duration of usage, frequency of change and dermatological manifestations experienced. Sample population constituted doctors who were willing to participate in the study. IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 17.0 was used for analysis of data.
Results: The male to female ratio among the 220 doctors studied was 1:1.59. Maximum number of doctors (56.4%) wore N95 masks. Total 33.63% of them used one new mask every day and 60.90% of them used the mask for more than 6 hours continuously on a day. Acne was the most commonly reported problem accounting for 48.2%. Doctors using N95 masks reported acne more commonly.
Conclusion: N95 masks were the most commonly used masks. Total 88.18% of the doctors reported cutaneous manifestations. Acne was the most common dermatological problem reported. It was associated with the use of N95 masks and longer duration of use of N95 masks.