Occupational skin diseasesBerufsbedingte HauterkrankungenDermatoses professionnellesErhvervsbetingede hudsygdommePoklicne kožne bolezniBeroepsgerelateerde huidaandoeningenMard tal-ġilda kkawżat mix-xogħol

Occupational skin diseases – enough to make you “jump out of your skin“!

Many hairdressers suffer from “occupational skin diseases”. But what are those, exactly?

Occupational skin diseases are skin diseases which are caused by one’s working conditions.

Hairdressing activities belong to the so-called “skin risk professions”. That means that hairdressers are subject to skin diseases fairly often. This is due to the range of different dangers that threaten the skin (risk factors).

Which occupational skin diseases are there?

Occupational skin diseases are almost always dermatitises. Dermatitises are inflammations of the epidermis and upper cutis, which can have different causes:    

  1. Dermatitises can appear suddenly through brief contact to a corrosive substance (e.g., through contact to hydrogen peroxide). This is known as “acute-toxic contact eczema“. Substances which can cause an acute-toxic contact dermatitis must be clearly marked.
  2. Dermatitises can result from frequent or repeated contact with skin-irritating substances  (“cumulative-subtoxic contact dermatitises“ or “degenerative eczemas“).
  3. Dermatitises can be allergy-related (“allergic contact dermatitises“ or ACD). That means that the body has learned to react to a certain substance (allergen) with an inflammation of the skin.   

Dermatitises are not caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses, which means they are not contagious! However, germs can of course settle more easily on damaged skin.