Irritant contact dermatitis during COVID-19: Preventing the virus while keeping the itch at bay

Keywords: Coronavirus Disease 2019, irritant contact dermatitis, moisturisers, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2, topical calcineurin inhibitors, topical corticosteroids


Hand hygiene practices have been bolstered during the COVID-19 pandemic to curb the spread of SARS-CoV-2. Unfortunately, such prevention strategies come with a risk of excessive physical damage to the skin and exposure to dermatological irritants, including soap, alcohol, and surfactants. Irritant contact dermatitis frequency has increased not only among those typically susceptible to it, such as healthcare workers, but also among the general populace. This report briefly discusses some of the most common implicated irritants, as well as guidelines and measures for mitigating dermatitis, which include dermatological treatments ranging from moisturisers to pharmacotherapy. Hand hygiene practices may not change, but by following good preventative guidelines and appropriate pharmacotherapeutic interventions, irritant contact dermatitis can be controlled.

Author Biography

W Cordier, University of Pretoria

Department of Pharmacology, School of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Pretoria, South Africa