DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18203/2320-6012.ijrms20204887

Effect of frequent hand washing for COVID-19 prevention

Raj Kumar, Sweta S. Kumar, Adesh Kumar, Prateek Jain

Abstract


Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has become a global public health concern. While dealing with COVID-19 pandemic, hand washing and the use of hand-hygiene products has been advocated, as a preventive measure. However, frequent hand washing leads to an increased risk of skin changes ranging from dryness and peeling of skin to itching, redness and blister formation. This study aims to understand the hand-hygiene practices and compare side effects between group using hand sanitizers with the group using soap with water.

Methods: A 12-item self-administered close ended questionnaire assessing the hand washing habits and effect of the same on skin was used. A total of 60 cases were enrolled. The correlation between use of hand hygiene measures and the clinical changes was studied.

Results: In our study, 32 out of the 60 reported a frequency of hand washing between 5-10 times a day. The awareness about using hand moisturizer was noted in 75% individuals. Side effects were more commonly observed in group B using alcohol-based sanitizers as compared to group A using soap with water. Dryness was the most common symptom, observed in 23.3% individuals using alcohol-based sanitizers and 10% individuals using soap with water.

Conclusions: Hand-hygiene measures remain the cornerstone of prevention of COVID-19 transmission. However, the use of hand-hygiene products is associated with side effects especially dryness. Regular use of hand moisturizer is essential in preventing the unnecessary effects of frequent hand washing.


Keywords


COVID-19, Hand washing, Sanitizer, Side-effects, Soap

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