The Prevalence and Risk Factors of Self-reported Hand Eczema in Health Care Versus Non-health Care Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic in Latvia

The Open Dermatology Journal 31 December 2023 RESEARCH ARTICLE DOI: 10.2174/0118743722273875231128064236



Frequent contact with soap, water, and disinfectants can lead to irritant contact dermatitis, which can change the integrity of the skin and weaken its natural protective functions. Since the onset of the Coronavirus disease outbreak, there has been a marked increase in the reported prevalence of contact dermatitis in studies conducted in different countries.


Investigate practices related to hygiene and skin care, along with the prevalence and symptoms of new-onset hand eczema among the general population of Latvia during the Coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, this study aimed to identify factors that could be associated with the occurrence of hand eczema.


This was a descriptive cross-sectional study that encompassed the general population of Latvia aged over or equal to 18 years. To achieve the objective of the study, an online questionnaire comprising 22 questions was distributed through social media applications during the pandemic between January 1 and April 30, 2023. The responses were systematically gathered and recorded in an Excel spreadsheet, which was subsequently imported into SPSS for the purpose of conducting the analysis.


Data were collected from 257 individuals, of whom 215 (83.7%) were women. The ages of the participants extended from 18 to 82 years. During the pandemic, 96 (37.4%) participants noticed new skin damage. The prevailing symptom identified within the study population was dryness of the hands (34.6%). There was a notable increase in the frequency of handwashing, hand disinfection, moisturising, and rubber glove use compared to pre-pandemic levels. There were statistically significant associations between new-onset hand eczema and age, more frequent handwashing, disinfection, and the use of rubber gloves.


According to our results, the skin of the study population was negatively affected by precautions for Coronavirus disease. Several factors were statistically significantly associated with new-onset HE, including young age (18-30 years), regular use of gloves in daily life, frequent hand washing, and disinfection.

Keywords: Hand eczema, COVID-19 pandemic, Handwashing, Skin care, Hand hygiene, Disinfectants.
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