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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 123-124  

Preventive apparatuses against COVID-19 and their health-related adverse effects

1 Private Academic Consultant, Bangkok, Thailand
2 Honorary Professor, Dr. D. Y. Patil University, Pune, India, Adjunct Professor, Joseph Ayobabalola University, Ikeji-Arakeji, Nigeria

Date of Submission26-Jan-2021
Date of Decision10-Feb-2022
Date of Acceptance14-Feb-2022
Date of Web Publication19-Apr-2022

Correspondence Address:
Pathum Sookaromdee
Private Academic Consultant, Bangkok
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_49_21

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How to cite this article:
Sookaromdee P, Wiwanitkit V. Preventive apparatuses against COVID-19 and their health-related adverse effects. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth 2022;15, Suppl S1:123-4

How to cite this URL:
Sookaromdee P, Wiwanitkit V. Preventive apparatuses against COVID-19 and their health-related adverse effects. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Sep 28];15, Suppl S1:123-4. Available from: https://www.mjdrdypv.org/text.asp?2022/15/7/123/343494

Coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) is a new disease caused by the novel coronavirus. This disease is a respiratory tract disease that is transmitted from human to human via respiratory contact. The COVID-19 patient might be asymptomatic or present with a fatal severe clinical problem. At present, the COVID-19 pandemic is still a global public health issue. The pandemic results in more than 90 million infected cases, and the effectiveness of the new vaccine is still questionable. It is still advised that preventive apparatuses against COVID-19 should still be used. The advantage of the preventive apparatuses is accepted. Nevertheless, its health-related adverse effect is little mentioned. In this letter, the authors summarize and discuss on the health-related adverse effect of COVID-19-protective apparatuses (facemask, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, thermoscanner, and gloves).

A facemask is a basic preventive apparatus against respiratory infection. For COVID-19, wearing a facemask is a general recommendation for disease prevention. Regarding the health-related adverse effect of a facemask for preventing COVID-19, there are some interesting reports. Contact dermatitis because of facemask wearing is possible. Some allergens that can result in contact dermatitis are detectable in facemasks that prevent COVID-19.[1] An example of an allergen detectable in a facemask is latex.[2] The formaldehyde released from a facemask is also reported as a cause of facemask-related dermatitis during COVID-19 outbreak.[3] Regarding the present COVID-19 pandemic, the good referencing case report is during the first period of COVID-19 outbreak by Xie et al. from China.[4] Excessive sweating, wetness, and friction can easily occur when wearing protective respirators or medical or fabric masks for long periods of time.[5] Cotton fabric facemasks have significantly higher moisture saturation than other non-traditional fabric types.[6] Closed and heated surroundings increase the permeability and sensitivity of the skin to physical and chemical irritants, resulting in chronic cumulative irritant contact dermatitis.[5] If there is a suspicious case of contact dermatitis because of a facemask, a cessation of simple facemask wearing is recommended. Allergen-free facemasks, such as elastic-free facemasks, should be selected. Additionally, there is also an interesting report showing the indirect effect of inappropriate facemask wearing. Wearing a facemask during riding a motorcycle might result in an accident if the facemask does not fit the facial shape.[7]

An alcohol-based hand sanitizer is a basic apparatus for preventing COVID-19. Generally, alcoholic gel is used for scrubbing of hands for reducing the contamination. A possible adverse effect of an alcoholic sanitizer is hand sanitizer-related dermatological reaction. Irritant contact dermatitis caused by hand sanitizer use and hand washing during the COVID-19 pandemic is reported.[8],[9] Alsaidan et al.[10] recently performed an online survey and found that 34.8% of responders gave history skin changes or symptoms over hands after use of a hand sanitizer. Alsaidan et al.[10] noted that the frequency of handwashing and the use of alcohol-based sanitizers were important contributing factors for dermatitis.

Accidental chemical poisoning might also occur if the toxic alcohol is ingested.[11] According to a recent report from USA, Yip et al.[11] recommended that physicians in charge should be suspected for methanol poisoning when evaluating adult or pediatric patients with reported swallowing of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer product or with symptoms, signs, and laboratory findings compatible with methanol poisoning.

Wearing gloves is another recommendation for preventing COVID-19 in many countries. A possible adverse effect of gloves is allergic reaction.[12],[13] This problem is common among the health care workers who have to regularly use gloves. Alluhayyan et al.[13] reported a study among the group of health care professionals from Saudi Arabia that protective glove materials that worsened contact dermatitis, such as natural rubber/latex, were common. Adding to gloves, contact dermatitis because of other personal protective equipment, such as gowns and goggles, are also observable.[14]

Thermoscanning is usually recommended as a screening tool at a public place. This is useful for early detection of a febrile person who might be a COVID-19-infected person. The issue on danger of an infrared thermometer is interesting. Infrared radiation with a high intensity could be linked to cataract.[15] The thermoscanner, on the other hand, emits extremely little infrared radiation. There is yet to be a report of a negative effect of utilizing a thermoscanner. As a result, it can guarantee the safety of current thermoscanner usage.

In conclusion, there are sporadic case reports on health-related adverse effects of COVID-19-preventive apparatuses. The purpose of this letter is to bring attention to a little-discussed concern in the current epidemic stage. Several preventative devices are in use, and quality standards for the devices are required. Despite the fact that millions of preventive apparatuses are used worldwide, monitoring any undesired problems that may be related with them is a new topic that has received little attention. COVID-19-preventive apparatuses should still be routinely used, but the practitioner should recognize and be aware of possible COVID-19 health-related adverse effects. If there is a suspicious case, prompt investigation and early management are needed.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Paredes V, Paredes C. Allergic contact dermatitis associated with the use of facemask on a patient with a history of atopy. J Dent Child (Chic) 2010;77:177-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
Kudoh O, Kumakura S, Kikuchi T, Tanaka J, Akazawa T, Kugimiya T. A case of latex allergy caused by hypersensitivity to the latex-containing facemask. Masui 2006;55:358-61.  Back to cited text no. 2
Aerts O, Dendooven E, Foubert K, Stappers S, Ulicki M, Lambert J. Surgical mask dermatitis caused by formaldehyde (releasers) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Contact Dermatitis. 2020;83:172-3.  Back to cited text no. 3
Xie Z, Yang YX, Zhang H. Mask-induced contact dermatitis in handling COVID-19 outbreak. Contact Dermatitis 2020;83:166-7.  Back to cited text no. 4
Di Altobrando A, La Placa M, Neri I, Piraccini BM, Vincenzi C. Contact dermatitis due to masks and respirators during COVID-19 pandemic: What we should know and what we should do. Dermatol Ther 2020;33:e14528.  Back to cited text no. 5
Teo WL. The “Maskne” microbiome-pathophysiology and therapeutics. Int J Dermatol 2021;60:799-809.  Back to cited text no. 6
Fernandes R. COVID-19, facemask wearing, riding and accident. Case Study Case Rep 2021;11:4-6.  Back to cited text no. 7
Tan SW, Oh CC. Contact dermatitis from hand hygiene practices in the COVID-19 pandemic. Ann Acad Med Singap 2020;49:674-6.  Back to cited text no. 8
Alves SM, Arendse AJ, Kannenberg SMH. COVID-19 collateral damage: Alcohol rub dermatitis as an emerging problem. S Afr Med J 2020;110:13135.  Back to cited text no. 9
Alsaidan MS, Abuyassin AH, Alsaeed ZH, Alshmmari SH, Bindaaj TF, Alhababi AA. The prevalence and determinants of hand and face dermatitis during COVID-19 pandemic: A population-based survey. Dermatol Res Pract 2020;2020:6627472. doi: 10.1155/2020/6627472.  Back to cited text no. 10
Yip L, Bixler D, Brooks DE, Clarke KR, Datta SD, Dudley S Jr, et al. Serious adverse health events, including death, associated with ingesting alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing methanol-Arizona and New Mexico, May-June 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1070-3.  Back to cited text no. 11
Spence NZ, Lu ME, Larson AR, Ortega R. COVID-19 and occupational skin hazards for anaesthetists. Br J Anaesth 2020;125:e476-8.  Back to cited text no. 12
Alluhayyan OB, Alshahri BK, Farhat AM, Alsugair S, Siddiqui JJ, Alghabawy K, et al. Occupational-related contact dermatitis: Prevalence and risk factors among healthcare workers in the Al'Qassim region, Saudi Arabia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cureus 2020;12:e10975.  Back to cited text no. 13
Gheisari M, Araghi F, Moravvej H, Tabary M, Dadkhahfar S. Skin reactions to non-glove personal protective equipment: An emerging issue in the COVID-19 pandemic. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol 2020;34:e297-8.  Back to cited text no. 14
Okuno T. Thermal effect of infra-red radiation on the eye: A study based on a model. Ann Occup Hyg 1991;35:1-12.  Back to cited text no. 15


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