OBJECTIVES: Health care workers (HCWs) adopted several protective measures, including hand hygiene and wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19 outbreak . However, the frequent use of these preventive measures can lead to skin reactions . Our study aimed to determine the frequency of these reactions in Northern Morocco . In addition, we also looked at the risk factors and the consequences of these injuries on work efficiency and performance . MATERIALS AND
METHODS: An anonymous online survey was used to collect data, which was sent to 500 health workers in the study region . Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the data on IBM SPSS software .
RESULTS: In total , 273/500 responded to the questionnaire (55 %). For the participants' profession , 41% were doctors , 32% were nursing staff, and 26% held other jobs . The general prevalence rate of adverse reactions for all health workers was (80 %), including skin problems: after wearing goggles (58 %), after wearing surgical masks and respirators (57 %), after handwashing and wearing gloves (45 %), after wearing a face shield (23 %), and after wearing protective clothing (11 %). Bleach immersion was highly significantly associated with hand reaction (OR : 2.9 , 95% CI : 1.77-4.90; P <0.001). Moreover, we found a statistically significant association between hand cream use more than twice daily and fewer reactions (OR : 1.9 , 95% CI : 0.98-3.77; P = 0.038). The skin reactions related to goggles use were also significantly associated with use duration (OR : 1.7 , 95% CI : 0.988-3.12; P = 0.05). Similarly, wearing masks and N95 respirators and their related adverse reactions were significantly associated with use duration (OR : 0.5 , 95% CI : 0.20-0.7; P = 0.02). In addition, adverse reactions of regular use of protective clothing were related to the frequency of its use per shift (OR : 3.5 , 95% CI : 1.47-8.54; P = 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: Our survey-based study showed that the prevalence of these skin reactions in our context should not be neglected . The length of daily wearing time and the frequency of PPE uses were the most implicated factors . More attention must be paid to these reactions for better care of HCWs during these critical times.