Skin problems associated with the use of personal protective equipment by healthcare workers during COVID-19 pandemic in Türkiye Problèmes cutanés associés à l’utilisation d’équipements de protection individuelle par les agents de santé pendant la pandémie de COVID-19 en Türkiye Résumé


Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, vol.29, no.4, pp.238-246, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 29 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.26719/emhj.23.037
  • Journal Name: Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, Child Development & Adolescent Studies, CINAHL, EMBASE, Index Islamicus, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.238-246
  • Keywords: COVID-19, health workers, personal protective equipment, quality of life, skin diseases, Türkiye
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Background: Skin problems associated with the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) have been reported during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aims: To determine the skin problems experienced by healthcare workers in Türkiye who used PPE during COVID-19 and the effect of these problems on their quality-of-life. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from 30 November 2020 to 30 May 2021. Data were collected from 404 healthcare workers recruited via social media. Participants completed a skin problem evaluation form and Skindex-16, which measures the effects of skin disease on quality-of-life. The t test and ANOVA were used to analyse differences between the means. Results: Most (85.1%) of the participants were nurses and 38.6% worked in COVID-19 intensive care units. All the participants wore gloves (53.2% wore double gloves), 99.3% wore surgical masks and 56.2% wore protective glasses. They washed their hands on average 31.94 [standard deviation (SD) 27.55] times a day. Skin problems developed were mostly around the forehead, hands, nose, and ears. The mean (SD) Skindex-16 score was 45.42 (26.31). Based on Skindex scores, respondents with chronic skin problems had a significantly lower quality-of-life than those without skin problems, as did those who developed skin problems during the COVID-19 pandemic than those who did not (P < 0.001). Conclusion: Skin problems associated with the use of PPE increased during the COVID-19 pandemic and these affected the quality-of-life of healthcare workers. Further studies should evaluate how to minimize adverse reactions due to PPE use.