Comprehensive Health Care Information And Resources
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Occupational dermatitis is a type of eczema that develops in a person’s job or workplace. This classification of eczema or dermatitis came to be because of the increased development of eczema in the workplace. It can also be called occupational eczema.
Occupational dermatitis may also be related to irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis but the only difference is that this type of eczema develops from exposure to chemicals and substances at work. Here are the most common characteristics of this skin condition:
• Dry and chapped skin is the foremost sign of occupational dermatitis.
• In some severe cases, the skin appears raw and very irritated. The skin is red, scaly and swelling is also seen. In more severe cases of occupational dermatitis, there are blister formation and skin ulcers that can appear.
• These lesions are itchy and may burn or sting depending on the severity of the exposure.
• Long term exposure to the irritant can thicken skin and turn it to a dark red to brownish skin color. This is the skin’s natural defense in keeping it from being irritated.
People who are exposed to hazardous chemicals and substances as a result of his job can be at risk of developing occupational dermatitis. Even constant or repeated exposure to water and detergent as in frequent hand washing may place a person at risk for developing this kind of skin condition.
Experts believe that susceptibility in getting occupational dermatitis decreases as a person grows older. More women on the other hand have jobs that cause them to wade or touch irritating substances making them more prone in developing occupational dermatitis.
There is an endless list of materials, chemicals and substances that can cause irritation and occupational dermatitis. Here are common causes of developing this type of eczema:
• Harsh substances can irritate and also touch and saturate clothes and in turn irritate the skin.
• Repeated exposure to irritants can also cause occupational dermatitis.
• Airborne particles can also pose as a risk. These minute particles of irritants can be trapped in layers of clothing and can irritate the skin as well.
• Use protective clothing to prevent contact from irritating substances at work. Masks, gloves, eye wear and gowns are examples of these. In severe occupational dermatitis cases, a person must consider switching careers.
• Apply moisture to help hydrates skin. Take lukewarm baths and showers to increase skin moisture as well and apply moisturizing lotions or creams immediately after a bath.
• Topical steroids can be prescribed to control skin inflammation and itching.
• Skin antibiotics and oral antibiotics may be prescribed to control skin infection.
• There are also medications that can suppress the immune system to control skin inflammation. In severe cases of occupational dermatitis, light therapy is also an alternative.
There are several ways to prevent occupational dermatitis and the most important thing to consider is taking a leave off work or switching careers to prevent future exposure to irritants. Here are other methods:
• Stick to your doctor’s skin regimen. Consider using a humidifier to add moisture to you room to effectively hydrate dry skin.
• Avoid irritating clothing and just wear loose articles of clothes made of cotton.
• Avoid flare ups by avoiding stress and avoiding activities that can make you perspire.
• If you wish to use herbal remedies, consult your doctor first.