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No more Problems due to PPE for Doctors and other Healthcare Workers; Study finds best Lubricants to Protect Skin

PPE kit to no longer pose a trouble for healthcare professionals

A recent study published in the journal PLOS ONE indicated that the best lubricants to be used to protect the skin against wear and tear from personal protective equipment (PPE) is petroleum jelly and talcum powder.

PPE is a suit worn to defend oneself from Covid-19 by frontline health care workers. Petroleum jelly and talcum powder can avoid harm from the prolonged use of masks and visors while taking care of the infected.

The authors claimed that the best lubricant is the one that the skin does not absorb. Therefore, a long-lasting coating of protection between the skin and PPE is formed.

Scientists from Imperial College, London, noticed that to shield themselves from the virus, more staff are adopting PPE.

Prolonged use of the PPE can generate friction and lead to injuries such as skin tears, blistering, ulcers, and hives, especially around the face.

Research Findings:

The results indicated that the perfect lubricant is the one that the skin does not absorb. Therefore, a long-lasting coating of protection between the skin and PPE is formed.

Scientists from Imperial College, London in the UK, noticed that to shield themselves from the disease, more staff are adopting PPE. Prolonged use of the PPE, can generate friction and lead to injuries such as skin tears, bruising, sores, and hives, particularly around the face.

While the lubricant is good for daily moisturizing, the study shows that specifically what is required to protect skin from PPE friction; a greasy residue. The authors clarified that talcum powder decreases friction by 49% at the time of application and 59% after 4 hours. A commercially viable product consisting of coconut oil, cocoa butter, and beeswax, however, decreased friction at the time of application by 31% and by 53% after checking on it in 4 hours.

Also, the researchers noted that a mixture of petrolatum and lanolin decreased friction during the test by 30 percent. The products which would not readily absorb into the skin are the ones that provide a protective cover. It is suggested to actively avoid creams and moisturizers to experience a non-greasy feeling for PPE wearers.

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