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Protection of skin barrier for Coronavirus with Personal Protective Equipment

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You may be concerned with how to protect your skin as well as the mucous membrane, especially if you have issues with a mask irritating your rosacea sensitive skin. One paper on this subject states, "Insufficient and excessive protection will have adverse effects on the skin and mucous membrane barrier." [1] Another paper calls this 'Surgical Mask Dermatitis." [2]

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) includes among other items a facial mask, gloves, etc.  

It has been recommended that, "using moisturizing products is highly recommended to achieve better protection." [1]. If you are concerned about wearing a mask, there are masks that may reduce skin irritation, i.e,, Anti-fog Full Face Shield, Anti-fog Adjustable Full Face ShieldSafety Face Shield.  In using googles, one source states, "Over‐tight using cannot enhance the protective effect but damage the skin and generate fogs instead." [1]

Treatment for Skin Irritation Resulting from Using Protection

"Therapeutic measures for redness and swelling include hydropathic compress with three to four layers of gauze soaked by cold water or normal saline for about 20 minutes each time every 2 to 3 hours and then applying moisturizers. Avoid washing with over‐heated water, ethanol or other irritative products." [1] The paper recommends other therapeutic treatments if you are suffering from further damage to your skin. 

End Notes

[1] Dermatol Ther. 2020 Mar 29 : e13310.
Consensus of Chinese experts on protection of skin and mucous membrane barrier for health‐care workers fighting against coronavirus disease 2019
Yicen Yan,  Hui Chen,  Liuqing Chen,  Bo Cheng,  Ping Diao,  Liyun Dong

[2] Contact Dermatitis. 2020 May 28.  doi: 10.1111/cod.13626.  Online ahead of print.
Surgical Mask Dermatitis Caused by Formaldehyde (Releasers) During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Olivier Aerts, Ella Dendooven, Kenn Foubert, Sofie Stappers, Michal Ulicki, Julien Lambert 


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