PPE and medical supplies
The FDA has outlined several conservation strategies based on supply levels to assist health care organizations and personnel in managing items such as surgical masks, surgical and isolation gowns, and surgical suits. The Academy has developed guidance encouraging members to take steps to preserve protective equipment during the COVID-19 outbreak. Hoarding in all its forms must be avoided so that urgently needed medications and supplies are available for our patients and health care responders on the front lines.
In addition, the Academy advises dermatologists to be cautious with posts on social media which may be perceived as either "hoarding" (masks, medications, or other) or suggesting that specific, unproven treatments may be beneficial for COVID-19 in the absence of data. Medications should continue to be reserved for their indicated use, and for the patients who need them.
As we anticipate shortages for specific medications (some of which have not been publicly announced due to concerns for price gouging), dermatologists should continue to do as they always do: prioritizing patient health and providing the best possible care for all manners of skin disease.
Protecting your skin while using PPE
The Academy has developed Skin Protection Guidelines for Using PPE (PDF download) to help dermatologists and other health care professionals prevent and treat conditions associated with prolonged use of PPE and other protective measures. The Academy has also developed a convenient infographic on Skin Care for Health Workers during COVID-19 (PDF download) that covers the same information. The guidance addresses preventing dermatitis caused by frequent hand washing, preventing skin injury from wearing N95 respirator masks and surgical masks, and more. These documents can be distributed to staff to encourage best practices.
Additional COVID-19 clinical guidance resources
All content solely developed by the American Academy of Dermatology