News Release

Hand dermatitis in two thirds of public due to stringent hand hygiene during COVID

More than two-thirds of the public may now have hand dermatitis due to stringent hand washing and using alcohol-based rubs during the COVID-19 pandemic

Peer-Reviewed Publication

Say Communications

LUGANO, 6 May, 2021- The dermatological impact of COVID-19 is a burning topic at EADV's 2021 Spring Symposium. New research presented today highlights the effect that stringent hand hygiene during the pandemic has had on hand skin health.1

Researchers at Father Muller Medical College, India, analysed transepidermal water loss (TEWL - an essential parameter for measuring skin barrier function) from 582 people (291 healthcare professionals (HCPs) and 291 healthy individuals from the general population). Results indicated that hand dermatitis was now present among 92.6% of HCPs and 68.7% of the general population, despite only ~3% of HCPs and 2.4% of the general public in the study having reported a prior history of hand dermatitis (obtained through medical history and self-reported history). Higher mean TEWL (dryer skin) was also noted in females (65.4 g/m2h) and intensive care professionals (58.2 g/m2h), which was associated with high frequency of hand washing and use of alcohol-based hand rubs.

Both the HCPs and participants from the general public in this study stated that skin irritation and dryness was the main barrier to the consistent practice of hand hygiene (as reported by 72.1% of HCPs, and 50.8% of healthy volunteers).

Dr Monisha Madhumita, Father Muller Medical College, India explains: "This research truly demonstrates the impact of increased hand washing and uptake of alcohol-based rubs on the hand skin health of HCPs and the general public. Moreover, we now know that using TEWL to measure skin barrier function can help us compare the efficacy of various barrier protective measures, and discover suitable modifications of hand hygiene practices and products to help prevent hand eczema. Finding suitable modifications to practices and products that may increase the accessibility of proper hand hygiene is something of vital importance to many in our community."

Marie-Aleth Richard, EADV Board Member and Professor at the University Hospital of La Timone, Marseille, adds: "This research shows there is now a skin-disease epidemic within the COVID-19 pandemic. It is promising to see this problem being recognised, and I am excited to see how the dermatology community goes about finding potential solutions to this issue."


Notes to Editors

A reference to the EADV Spring Symposium or EADV Spring Symposium 2021 must be included when communicating any information within this press release.


For further information or to arrange an expert interview, please contact:

Lewis Picton - EADV Press Officer
+44 (0) 208 971 6419

Sophie Graham - EADV Press Officer
+44 (0) 208 971 6413

Catriona Martin - EADV Press Officer
+44 (0) 208 971 6412

About EADV

Founded in 1987, EADV is a leading European Dermato-Venereology Society with the important aims of improving the quality of patient care, furthering knowledge and education of dermatologists and venereologists globally through innovation, and advocating on behalf of the speciality and patients. EADV collaborates with other organisations to provide a strong and clear voice to influence the European health agenda. It is a non-profit organisation with over 7,000 members across 113 different countries in the world, providing a valuable service for every type of dermato-venereologist professional.

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About EADV Spring Symposium 2021:

EADV Spring Symposium - A New Season for Dermatology and Venereology, is one of the most important, CME-CPD accredited all-virtual events in the Dermato-Venereology calendar. The 2-day Scientific Programme is bursting with new findings and scientific breakthroughs, providing a unique opportunity to both hear the latest in Dermato-Venereology and connect with leading experts. To find out more visit


1. Madhumita, M.,, Bhat, R., Challenges in curbing SARS-CoV2 - Overzealous Hand Hygiene and the Overlooked Skin Damage. Abstract submitted to EADV Spring Symposium 2021. Data on file.

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