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Original Research

RMJ. 2021; 46(4): 816-819

Cutaneous and mucosal changes among health care workers performing duties in COVID-19 isolation wards of Tertiary Care Hospitals

Zahid Rafiq, Ahsan Anwar, Rana Aamir Diwan, Urfa Shafi.


Objective: To determine the frequency of cutaneous and mucosal changes among health care workers due to wearing of PPE in COVID-19 isolation wards of Tertiary Care Hospitals.
Methodology: This cross sectional study was conducted at DHQ/GHAQ Teaching Hospitals, Sahiwal Medical College, Sahiwal. A web-based survey was shared on the Whatsapp/Email for the collection of data among healthcare workers who had performed duties in COVID-19 isolation wards of different public teaching hospitals of the Punjab, Pakistan.
Results: Out of 121 participants, 61(50.4%) were female and 60(49.6%) male. Majority of participants were less than 30 years of age. Among the participants, 115(95%) were doctors while 6(5%) were paramedical staff. Involvement of different facial sites and hands were found. Itching 63((51.2%) was the most commonly noticed symptom followed by dryness/tightness 52(50.5%), irritation 51(49.5%) and burning/pain 12(11.7%). Frequently observed cutaneous changes were erythema, scaling and papules at various locations of face while vesicles and fissures at hand and feet. Common mucosal changes were dryness of mouth 40(76.9%) and halitosis 22(42.3%) in oral cavity and watering of eyes 26(56.6%) and redness of conjunctiva 15(32.6%).
Conclusion: Increased usage of personnel protective equipment among Health Care Workers leads to significant cutaneous changes at face, hand and oral mucosal changes.

Key words: Cutaneous changes, healthcare workers, mucosal changes.

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