Prevalence of changes in skin condition due to hand hygiene measures applied during the Covid-19 pandemic among the Lithuanian population

Augustina Zaveriuchaitė1, Gabrielė Gogelytė1, Inga Kisielienė1,2

1 Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine, Vilnius, Lithuania

2 Vilnius University, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Clinical Medicine, Clinic of Infectious diseases and Dermatovenerology, Center of Dermatovenerology, Vilnius, Lithuania


Introduction. COVID-19 pandemic forced people to use personal protective measures, in order to stop virus from spreading. Frequent hand washing and use of protective gloves had a negative effect on hand skin.

The aim of this study was to find out the most often used hand hygiene prevention measures among the Lithuanian population during the COVID-19 pandemic and to determine the impact they had on the condition of hands skin.

Materials and methods. An anonymous online survey was conducted. Statistical analysis was performed using R Commander and Microsoft Excel programs. Results are considered statistically significant when the p value is less than 0,05.

Results. The questionnaire was completed by 237 respondents. During the pandemic, disposable gloves were mostly chosen to ensure hand hygiene – 52,7% (N = 125). Increased usage of hand hygiene products resulted in hand skin problems – 54,4% (N = 129), including dehydration – 96,2% (N = 127), itching – 35,6% (N = 47) and stinging – 34,1% (N = 45). An association between hand skin burning and glove replacement rates (p = 0,007) also with a higher number of hours spent with disposable gloves (p = 0,004) was observed. Frequent use of disinfectant correlated with a higher incidence of rashes (p = 0,025), wounds (p = 0,022), itching (p = 0,003) and dehydration (p < 0,001).

Conclusions. Due to the increased usage of hand hygiene measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, most respondents experienced symptoms of hand skin damage such as dryness, itching and stinging.


Keywords: prevention of COVID-19, hand skin damage, hand hygiene.