For frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic, wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) like face visors, googles, and respiratory protective equipment is an essential part of working life. More workers are wearing facial PPE now than ever before, often for extended periods of time, to protect them against the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
However, extended PPE use, particularly on the delicate skin of the face, can cause friction and shear injuries like skin tears, blistering, ulcers, and hives.
The effects of friction and shear can be reduced by lubricants, which workers are advised to apply every half hour. Half-hourly applications can be impractical during shift work and may expose workers to the virus, and many typical moisturisers don’t last long as they are designed to be absorbed into the skin for a ‘non-greasy feel’.
Now, researchers from Imperial College London have investigated which products create the longest-lasting protective layer between PPE and