TIPS ON HOW TO PREVENT FACIAL SKIN DAMAGE BENEATH PPE

During these tough pandemic times, it is very essential to keep oneself safe. The coronavirus infected people are pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic as well who do not show any symptoms in the initial stage. They look quite normal and keep doing their regular activities while being around the other uninfected people. It takes up to 14 days for the virus to show the symptoms, and by that time all the others in contact may also get affected.

Due to these reasons, we must take essential precautions and stay safe all the time. To ensure safety, it is vital to wear the PPE kits because this is a contagious disease.

What is a PPE Kit?

PPE expands to Personal Protective Equipment. As the name suggests, PPE kits are used for the protection of individuals. A full PPE kit includes a bodysuit, a face shield, a face mask, hand gloves, shoe cover and a disposable bag. These things cover the entire body right from head to toe, eliminating the risk of touching contaminated surfaces.

Who should wear PPE Kit?

For healthcare workers including doctors, nurses and everyone working on the frontline against this disease, PPE kit is a must because they work in the utmost danger.

It is advised to maintain social distancing and stay at home to stay away from the virus. But practically, it is not so possible to stay at home all the time. You have to move out to get on work, for shopping and any emergency as well. But when you’re moving out, you must ensure complete safety by wearing protective equipment, especially the PPE kit.

So these days, PPE kits have become a necessity for everyone in the society irrespective of which profession they belong to. Before wearing the kit, sanitize your hands for maximum safety and also dispose of the kit well after using it.

What are the Advantages of PPE Kit?

• PPE kits protect us from being exposed to the virus contaminated surfaces and things.
• There is no risk of touching the face with contaminated hands.
• PPE kits also protect from the increased levels of pollution.
• PPE kits protect from being exposed to chemical hazards.

Are there any disadvantages of wearing PPE Kit?

Everything has its own pros and cons. Though PPE kits have so many advantages, there are a few disadvantages as well. It is said that wearing of protective kits can lead to skin damage. These damages are caused due to improper air permeability, friction and pressure of the kit exerted on the skin.
• Face masks and face shields must be worn tightly, to avoid the entrance of virus-contaminated air. But when this equipment is worn tightly, the elastics or the straps attached to them exert much pressure on the facial skin leaving marks on the skin.
• This pressure leads to poor local blood circulation. Because of poor blood circulation or constriction of the blood vessels, blood is deficient in the tissues. This ailment is termed as tissue ischemia.
• Tissue ischemia, in turn, leads to the deficiency of oxygen, thereby leading to hypoxia.
• Hypoxia leads to shortness of breath, feeling choked, suffocation, bluish discoloration of the skin, stress, anxiety and restlessness.
• The accumulation of the exhaled water vapours on the inner side mask or shield keep the skin in a moist environment for long leading to skin indentations.
• Even the sweat accumulated on the hand and skin due to gloves, make the skin prone to impregnation and eczema.
• These hot cum humid environments lead to fungal infections on the skin.
• Irritation of the skin can also lead to allergic reactions.
• Friction between the skin leads to ulcers and blisters.

These skin issues can become severe by prolonged use of these kits without proper ventilation.

To avoid these skin issues, a few preventive measures must be considered as follows.

Keep it Clean
Keep your skin well hydrated to avoid the friction. Wash your skin well before and after the use of protective equipment. Dab it with a soft cloth or tissue instead of rubbing the skin with harsh towels which may add in turn to the irritation. This will remove the dirt and bacteria accumulated on the skin ensuring safety.

Use Dressings
More pressure is exerted on the areas such as ears on which straps of the mask are held, the upper edge of the nose where the goggles rest, and the upper edge of the goggles that rests on the forehead. Apply a dressing on such areas and then wear the kit. These dressings protect skin from the pressure exerted and also eliminate the marks of the equipment.

Dressings are of various types are used in the medical field such as the hydrogel dressings, foam dressings and hydrocolloid dressings.

If you consider hydrogel dressing, it is composed of 90% water suspended in a gel of hydrophilic polymer. The hydrogel keeps the skin moist, eliminating the pressures. It also removes the friction between the equipment and the skin.
Hydrogel dressings are self-adhesive, making it easy to apply and remove without hurting the skin.

When the pressure exerted is reduced, there will be proper blood circulation avoiding the risks of ischemia and hypoxia.

Proper Moisturization of the Skin
A well-moisturised skin avoids friction between the skin and the equipment and also avoids skin irritation of any type. It makes it easy to wear and remove the kit.

To moisturize the skin, use a water-soluble moisturizer containing glycerin and also use the mineral oils that lock the moisture in the skin.

Use Anti-fungal Creams and Ointments
Due to the continuous accumulation of sweat in hands and feet due to the gloves, fungal infections erupt. These infections can be removed by the use of anti-fungal creams easily available in the market.

Buy PPE Kits of Suitable Material
Sometimes you get skin allergies because of the material used in the manufacturing of the kit. It is necessary that you test which material suits your skin and buy the one without compromising on the quality.

Avoiding Harsh Soaps
When you are going to wear PPE kits, avoid the usage of harsh soaps which negatively advance the skin irritation.

Proper Diet
Consume the food that does not damage your skin in the sense which does not lead to pimples and other skin allergies. Drink plenty of water and consume water-rich foods that hydrate your body and drink plain fruit juices.

Skincare Products
Before using any new skincare product, take a small trial to test whether it does not lead to skin irritations when you wear the protective kits.

Avoid Prolonged Use of Kits
Remove the kit when you feel it’s not necessary so that your body relaxes and you get good air. Make sure you take breaks in between and do not wear the kits for a prolonged time.

Consult a Dermatologist
If you suffer skin irritations or skin allergies, consult a dermatologist at the earliest before the allergy increases and damages your skin further. Prolonged skin allergies could be detrimental.

Though the PPE kits could damage the skin in these tough times, these kits are a necessity, and you cannot compromise by not wearing them. But you can avoid the skin issues that come with it by following the above procedures.
You can buy good quality PPE kits and the additional protective equipment from PPE Zones that are risk-free and comfortable.

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