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Dictionary of Allergies .. Occupational dermatitis

Occupational dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is the most common occupational skin disorder, responsible for up to 30% of all cases of occupational disease in industrialized nations. Epidemiologic data suggest that contact dermatitis accounts for 90% to 95% of all cases of occupational skin disease, imposing considerable social and economic implications. Occupational contact dermatitis is broadly classified into allergic and irritant subtypes. Irritant contact dermatitis is widely quoted in the literature to account for 80% of occupational contact dermatitis cases, with allergic cases held responsible for the remaining 20% [1].Three factors point out the importance of occupational skin diseases as diseases that have a public health impact: 1) occupational skin diseases are common; 2) they often have a poor prognosis; and 3) they result in a noteworthy economic impact for society and for an individual. They are also diseases amenable to public health interventions. Specific industries and exposures may put a worker at risk of occupational contact dermatitis. The accuracy of the diagnosis of occupational contact dermatitis is related to the skill level, experience, and knowledge of the medical professional who makes the diagnosis and confirms the relationship with a workplace exposure[2].. Concepts such as elimination of harmful exposures and allergen identification are considered. Personal protective equipment is an important component of prevention, including barrier creams, gloves and protective clothing[3]. rotecting a worker from initial sensitization is the primary goal in prevention, but this is challenging considering the small amounts of an allergen needed to initiate and potentiate dermatitis. Patients diagnosed as having ACD can have symptoms that are more persistent, despite accurate diagnosis and therapy. With the high prevalence of contact dermatitis in the occupational setting, prevention is a key to healthy skin[3].


Clark SC, Zirwas MJ. Management of occupational dermatitis. Dermatol Clin. 2009 Jul;27(3):365-83, vii-viii.

2. Lushniak BD. Occupational contact dermatitis. Dermatol Ther. 2004;17(3):272-7.

3. Schalock PC, Zug KA. Protection from occupational allergens. Curr Probl Dermatol. 2007;34:58-75.

Γκέλης Ν.Δ. - Λεξικό Αλλεργίας - Εκδόσεις ΒΕΛΛΕΡOΦΟΝΤΗΣ - Κόρινθος 2013

Gelis Ν.D. - Dictionary of Allergies - VELLEROFONTIS Publications - Corinth 2013