BACKGROUND: Hand eczema (HE) has increased among healthcare workers (HCWs) working in coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) units, and was associated with increased hand hygiene practices .
OBJECTIVES: To compare the prevalence and clinical characteristics of HE, and hand hygiene practices in HCWs working in COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 units .
METHODS: A total of 244 HCWs working in COVID-19 (n = 118) and non-COVID-19 patient care units (n = 126) were examined by dermatologists with regard to demographic parameters and hand hygiene practices . The COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 groups were matched at a 1:1 ratio according to age, atopy, and generalized dry skin .
RESULTS: HE was more frequent in the COVID-19 group (48.3% vs 12.7%, P <.001), whereas working years (P <.05) and additional housework at home (P <.001) were longer in the non-COVID-19 group . After the development of HE, moisturizing creams were reported to be more frequently used in the COVID group (P <.001). Topical corticosteroids were used in a minority (40% in the COVID group and 26.7% in the non-COVID group).
CONCLUSIONS: HCWs in COVID-19 units developed HE more frequently . A majority increased the frequency of moisturizer use, instead of using topical corticosteroids, after the development of HE for the purpose of treating eczema . New approaches are needed for the prevention and management of HE in HCWs, especially by facilitating access to dermatologists.