In recent years, San Antonio dermatologists have been seeing significantly more patients with skin disorders related to personal protective equipment (PPE). Healthcare workers and employees in certain other occupations still are required to wear face masks throughout the entire shift. Some must wear additional PPE devices. This can cause skin irritation and inflammation.
Research shows that people who wear masks for more than six hours a day are at increased risk of skin disorders. Dermatitis due to mechanical friction by fabric against the skin has become relatively common. These individuals are encouraged to seek treatment from a dermatologist. If infections develop, the problem becomes serious.
San Antonio dermatologists are likely aware of the statistics relevant to this situation. Some studies have found more than 90% of healthcare workers have been affected by PPE-related skin damage. Masks, face shields, and goggles all can cause abrasions as well as irritation from pressure.
Common Facial Skin Issues
Patients have sought help from dermatologists for rashes, hives, sores, cracked skin, swelling, and other problems. Many reports have been made of new-onset acne due to mask-wearing. Some individuals have experienced allergic reactions to polypropylene masks.
Hand Skin Disorders
Skin disorders affecting the hands of healthcare workers also have spiked in prevalence. This was a problem before the pandemic but worsened due to extra measures and longer shifts. Frequent handwashing and wearing gloves for hours at a time are risk factors for chronic eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis.
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