Risk of hand dermatitis among hairdressers versus office workers
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health
Schwanitz, MD1 Uter W, Pfahlberg A, Gefeller 0, Schwanitz HJ. Risk of hand dermatitis among hairdressers versus office workers. Scand J Work Envi ron Heal th 1999;25(5):450-456, Objectives The risk of irritant slun damage associated with hairdressing was estimated with the individual occupational exposure and other relevant factors having been taken into consideration. Methods A cohort of 2352 hairdressing and 11 1 office apprentices was prospectively followed for the duration of their
... n of their vocational training (3 years), 3 examinations having been made and 3 years of recruitment having been used [I992 (hairdressers only), 1993, 19941 in 15 vocational training schools in northwest Germany. The information of the final follow-up examination was used for the analysis. Results A multifactorial analysis taking several (constitutional) risk factors, which were unevenly distributed between the 2 groups, into account revealed a significantly increased risk for hairdressers when compared with office workers (odds ratio approximately 4.0) with a marked decline in the most recently recruited (1994) apprentice group. Other significant factors increasing the dermatitis risk were (i) low ambient absolute humidity, (ii) young age, and (iii) a certain higher range of "atopy score". If the individual profile of occupational exposure among hairdressers was also considered, unprotected wet work of more than 2 hours per day was found to be a significant risk factor. C O~~C~U S~O~S Good skin protection, as operationalized in the present study, can diminish, but not eliminate, the risk of occupational irritant hand dermatitis among hairdressers.