COVid and skin problems
Skin disorders have always been a major health concern. The British Association of Dermatologists has pointed out that skin issues are one of the most common long-term conditions in the UK.
In 2013, the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Skin estimated that 54% of the UK population suffers from a skin condition in any year1 and one in four people saw their GP because of a skin problem every year2.
Pandemic's influence on skin
“We were already seeing a significant increase in problems but, when COVID-19 reached the UK, we saw an explosion in skin issues, largely a result of extra hand washing and use of hand sanitisers” (Dr Aslam summarises).
As well as the impact of hand-hygiene, masks are also exacerbating problems, with 51% of those who took part in the Skin Life Sciences Foundation survey reporting that face coverings were aggravating their eczema, dermatitis or psoriasis.
An epidemic within the pandemic
“We should not underestimate the increased social impacts of life under lockdown and other restrictions. The pandemic has also led to much higher levels of depression and anxiety3, a worrying increase in unhealthy levels of alcohol consumption4 and additional weight gain5 — and all of these factors are helping to fuel what has become an epidemic within the pandemic.” (Dr Aslam)
1 www.appgs.co.uk/publication/view/the-psychological and-social-impact-ofskin-diseases-on-peoples-lives-final-report-2013/ (Page 9, 2.0) [last accessed 18 Aug 2021]
2 Submission by the British Association of Dermatologists to the Commons Health Select Committee enquiry regarding Long Term Conditions, 2013, BAD
3 bmjopen.bmj.com/content/10/9/e040620 [last accessed 18 Aug 2021]
4 www.kcl.ac.uk/news/nearly-a-third-of-uk-public-drinking-more-alcohol-than-usual-during-the-pandemic [last accessed 18 Aug 2021]
5 covid.joinzoe.com/post/lockdown-weight-gain [last accessed 18 Aug 2021]