Researchers from Imperial College London have investigated which products create the longest-lasting protective layer between PPE and skin. They custom-built a “tribometer” to assess friction and used it to test the friction between skin and polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS), which is a common component of PPE.
What they found was, the best lubricants were those that were not absorbed into the skin, creating a long-lasting layer of protection between skin and PPE. Non-absorptive creams, like a coconut oil-cocoa butter beeswax mixture and talcum powder were most likely to provide PPE wearers with long-lasting skin protection. When testing commercial moisturizers, they found that friction on application was low but increased drastically within 10 minutes of application.
What are you doing to protect yourself and your staff from irritation commonly caused by continuous wearing of PPE? It might be a nice benefit to provide them with some of the products identified as most effective in the study. Consider filling small, disposable, condiment cups with lids, labeled and given to staff as they arrive for work in the morning! Of course, keep these containers labeled and out of the hands of the residents! Stay the course, stay strong, stay well, stay safe, mask up, and stay tuned!