What you need to know about hand hygiene and dermatitis during the coronavirus pandemic

Arthur S. Nguyen, Brian V. Thielen, Paul L. Bigliardi, Ronda S. Farah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Increased attention towards infection control measures during the COVID-19 pandemic have brought to light the dermatological consequences of intensified hand hygiene measures. Healthcare workers are inherently at an increased risk of developing both allergic and irritant contact dermatitis. Individuals with a history of atopy are especially vulnerable given their impaired native skin barriers and increased sensitivities at baseline. Examination gloves not only induce contact allergies from manufacturing chemicals, but also serve as an occlusive catalyst for facilitating contact sensitization and irritant dermatitis. Similarly, handwashing practices with soap and alcohol-based hand rubs (ABHRs) undermine the natural skin barriers with increasing frequency of use. We highlight clinical pearls for the frontline healthcare worker experiencing COVID-19 surges and offer practical measures to minimize the development of hand-based dermatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)888-890
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Board of Family Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Board of Family Medicine. All rights reserved.


  • COVID-19
  • Dermatitis
  • Hand Dermatitis
  • Hand Hygiene
  • Hand Washing

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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