Mask-related skin changes among healthcare workers in a community-based hospital.
Journal of Osteopathic Medicine
CONTEXT: During the COVID-19 pandemic, dermatologists within the Beaumont Farmington Hills' Dermatology program noticed an increase in conditions associated with mask wearing, such as "maskne" (acne in a mask distribution, thought to be caused by mask wearing), as well as worsening of previously diagnosed dermatologic conditions.
OBJECTIVES: The goal of our study was to explore various factors that impacted mask-related skin changes and how these skin changes affected quality of life.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study was performed. The primary 10-item survey instrument administered was the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI). Respondents were asked a series of 10 additional questions concerning the degree to which abnormal mask-related skin conditions affect their skin symptoms, possible embarrassment/self-consciousness, and perceived impact of mask-related skin changes. A series of descriptive statistics, cross-tabulation charts, and graphical examinations of data was utilized to evaluate sample subgroup and outcome distributional patterns. Pearson r bivariate correlation coefficients between possible collinear predictive measures on the primary study outcome were calculated. A series of simple inferential chi-squared (Χ
RESULTS: A total of 370 out of 430 (86.0%) Beaumont Health employees noticed some degree of skin changes since the work-hours face mask requirement was instituted, while 378 out of 430 (87.9%) felt that their skin was better when not wearing a mask. The majority of respondents, 283 (65.8%), reported having at least a little symptomatic skin (i.e., itchy, painful, sore, stinging) during the prior week. Furthermore, 72.3% reported that they were at least a little embarrassed or self-conscious of their skin. Chi-squared analysis of composite DLQI score categories by the number of types of masks utilized (Pearson X
CONCLUSIONS: A large number of healthcare workers are affected by mask-related skin changes. Further research should be directed at better understanding how skin changes associated with mask wearing impact one's quality of life and mental health.
Valk B, Ivanov NN, Nahhas A, Corwin K, Hansen K, Globerson J, et al. [LaCasse A, Sikorski L] Mask-related skin changes among healthcare workers in a community-based hospital. J Osteopath Med. 2022 Aug 29;122(12):609-615.doi: 10.1515/jom-2022-0097. PMID: 36028224.