Treatments to prevent hand skin irritation in the workplace

Occupational irritant hand dermatitis (OIHD) is a skin disease that occurs on the hands of employees in certain jobs. The first signs are red and scaly patches in the finger webs and on the knuckle area of the hands. Itchy blisters, painful cracks, and possibly infection are common, and eventually the skin becomes thickened.
Hand skin irritation can affect employees who regularly come into contact with water, detergents, chemicals, and other irritants, or who wear gloves during their working day. People at particular risk include hairdressers, nurses, cleaners, builders, and people who work in the dye, printing, metal, and food industries. The condition is relatively common and affects about 5 to 20 out of 10,000 full-time workers per year. Preventing OIHD from developing is important because it is difficult to clear once it starts.

Source: Bauer, A., Rönsch, H., Elsner, P., Dittmar, D., Bennett, C., Schuttelaar, MLA, Lukács, J., John, SM, Williams, HC. (2018). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (4).

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