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  • 2023

The definition of occupational hand eczema (OHE) varies from country to country as it additionally includes specific national legal requirements that define when and how work-related hand eczema (HE) should be recognized as an occupational disease. OHE has often a chronic and relapsing course with a poor prognosis in the long-term leading to a significant burden in terms of sick leave, reduced work productivity, early work retirement, and unemployment. Irritant contact dermatitis (ICD), allergic contact dermatitis (ACD), and contact urticaria (CU) account for approximately one-third of all occupational-related medical complaints and 90%–95% of occupation-related skin complaints. It is interesting that in most of the patients one or more additional diagnoses were given. This reflects the fact that, in most cases, HE is a multifactorial disease, and this becomes even more prominent in severe and long-lasting cases. Nowadays, healthcare workers in COVID-19 care units developed HE more frequently associated with increased hand hygiene practices than no-COVID-19 patient care units (48.3% vs 12.7%). Work-related and OHE are highly preventable by elimination, substitution, or reduction of occupational skin exposure to irritants and allergens (primary prevention). Treatment should consider removing causative agents, an anti-inflammatory therapy and finally recover the skin barrier.
Work-Related and Occupational Hand...

Russo, Juan Pedro; Alfonso, Jose Hernan; Nardelli, Andrea
Handbook of Occupational Dermatoses: 115–125
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