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Occupational skin disease.
Am Fam Phys 2002 Sep; 66(6):1025-1032
Contact dermatitis, the most common occupational skin disease, is characterized by clearly demarcated areas of rash at sites of exposure. The rash improves on removal of the offending agent. In allergic contact dermatitis, even minute exposures to antigenic substances can lead to a skin rash. Common sensitizing agents include nickel and members of the Rhus genus (e.g., poison ivy, poison oak). Severe skin irritants tend to cause immediate red blisters or burns, whereas weaker irritants produce eczematous skin changes over time. An occupational cause should be suspected when rash occurs in areas that are in contact with oil, grease, or other substances. Direct skin testing (patch or scratch) or radioallergosorbent testing may help to identify a specific trigger. Skin cancer can have an occupational link in workers with prolonged exposure to sunlight and certain chemicals, although it can take decades for lesions to develop. In workers with occupational skin disease, workplace changes and protective measures are important to prevent future exposure.
Occupational-diseases; Occupational-hazards; Skin-diseases; Contact-dermatitis; Dermatosis; Dermatitis; Allergic-dermatitis; Occupational-exposure; Skin-disorders; Skin-irritants; Skin-tests; Workers; Worker-health
Issue of Publication
American Family Physician
University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division