Two-thirds of the public have hand dermatitis due to rigorous hand washing

hand dermatitis
© Auremar

More than two-thirds of the public may have hand dermatitis due to stringent handwashing during the COVID-19 pandemic

Researchers at Father Muller Medical College analysed transepidermal water loss from 582 people and discovered that hand dermatitis was present among 92.6% of healthcare professionals and 68.7% of the general population.

Higher mean transepidermal water loss was noted in females (65.4 g/m2h) and intensive care professionals (58.2 g/m2h), which was associated with high frequency of handwashing and use of alcohol-based hand rubs.

Skin irritation

The participants stated that skin irritation and dryness was the main barrier to the consistent practice of hand hygiene.

Dr Monisha Madhumita, Father Muller Medical College, India explains: “This research truly demonstrates the impact of increased handwashing and uptake of alcohol-based rubs on the hand skin health of HCPs and the general public.

“Moreover, we now know that using TEWL to measure skin barrier function can help us compare the efficacy of various barrier protective measures, and discover suitable modifications of hand hygiene practices and products to help prevent hand eczema.

“Finding suitable modifications to practices and products that may increase the accessibility of proper hand hygiene is something of vital importance to many in our community.”

Marie-Aleth Richard, EADV Board Member and Professor at the University Hospital of La Timone, Marseille, adds: “This research shows there is now a skin-disease epidemic within the COVID-19 pandemic. It is promising to see this problem being recognised, and I am excited to see how the dermatology community goes about finding potential solutions to this issue.”


1. Madhumita, M.,, Bhat, R., Challenges in curbing SARS-CoV2 – Overzealous Hand Hygiene and the Overlooked Skin Damage. Abstract submitted to EADV Spring Symposium 2021. 


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