Skin conditions are on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic due to infection and the use of PSA

An increase in the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and hygiene measures such as the use of hand sanitizer, hand washing and the use of masks during this pandemic have increased the incidence of dermatological diseases.

In addition, there are many rashes and skin problems associated with the infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) itself. In addition, adverse dermatological reactions to prescription or over-the-counter drugs have also been reported.

Study reveals a wide range of dermatological problems related to SARS-CoV-2 infection and the use of PSA

A review article recently published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology attempts to use PubMed data on cutaneous manifestations in COVID-19 disease to identify and compile a list of skin conditions that have been reported to date during this pandemic. The results demonstrated many dermatological problems, ranging from infections related to other dermatitis related to the use of PPE by medical personnel.

A number of skin manifestations, including hives, vesicular, and erythematous eruptions, have been reported to be associated with SARS-Cov-2 infection, some of which are seen with other viral infections. However, there were some skin findings, such as chilblains, specific to COVID-19 and not commonly seen in association with other viral infections.

While chilblains were observed as a late manifestation of infection in a younger population, a similar finding of acro-ischemic lesions was reported in older populations and meant a poorer prognosis compared to patients with chilblains.

The multisystem inflammatory syndrome observed primarily in children is another important finding that causes mucocutaneous symptoms. Timely diagnosis of this syndrome is vital as it affects multiple organ systems and can lead to many complications such as myocardial damage, kidney damage, hypercoagulability, and shortness of breath.

Despite the association of several pandemic-related factors such as dermatosis, psychological distress, and the use of harsh chemicals and irritants in itching and its significant impact on patients’ quality of life, little data is available on itching.

Hair and nails were also affected with COVID-19, as with other viral infections. Although the underlying mechanism of these hair and nail disorders is not yet understood, it has been thought to be linked to microvascular injuries and coagulation disorders. Regarding the hair findings, the telogen effluvium was a key finding associated with the massive physiological and psychological distress in COVID-19 patients. However, the finding of androgenetic alopecia and gray hair related to severe COVID-19 was surprising and provides insight into new treatments using anti-androgens.

Use of PPE and resulting skin diseases by medical personnel

Skin diseases among healthcare workers are said to be due to increased use of PPE and increased hygiene measures such as gloves, goggles and gowns in accordance with the COVID protocols. Skin conditions caused by these protective measures are attributed to several factors, such as overhydration observed with prolonged use of occlusive equipment, which traps moisture and, when combined with friction, leads to skin barrier defects and an increased risk of contact dermatitis. Excessive hand washing also causes irritating contact dermatitis. Folliculitis is most likely the result of occlusion caused by the use of PSA.

Several studies have found an increase in the risk of skin damage with increasing length of PPE use. Worsening of pre-existing skin diseases has also been noted, such as: B. Increase in acne, seborrheic dermatitis and rosacea.

Several factors may be behind these exacerbations, including increases in psychological stress and obstruction of the skin from the use of PSA.

Based on these findings, it is vital for vulnerable individuals such as medical personnel to avoid such consequences by avoiding the use of very hot water, avoiding the prolonged wearing of gloves, frequently moisturizing the skin, maintaining the skin barrier and being alcoholic Use hand sanitizer wisely.

The results underscore the importance of identifying and treating dermatological diseases related to COVID-19

In summary, during this pandemic, many skin diseases have emerged, which are caused by various factors such as viral infections, consequences of PPE use, additional hygiene measures and exacerbation of pre-existing skin diseases. According to the authors, identifying and treating these dermatological results is very important for a number of reasons.

Skin findings related to the infection can guide HCPs in diagnosis, especially in cases with mild symptoms. Skin diseases caused by protective measures can have serious consequences and reduce the work efficiency of the individual, which can be particularly harmful to medical personnel. Therefore, it is of vital importance to identify and treat these dermatological diseases related to COVID-19.

Journal reference:

  • Akl, J., El-Kehdy, J., Salloum, A., Benedetto, A. and Karam, P. (2021), Skin Diseases Associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Review. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. Accepted author’s manuscript. https://doi.org/10.1111/jocd.14266, https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jocd.14266

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