Chapter

Dermatological disorders

Ursula T. Ferriday and I. S. Foulds

in Fitness for Work

Fifth edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780199643240
Published online April 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191755668 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199643240.003.0022

Series: Landmark Papers

Dermatological disorders

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  • Occupational Medicine
  • Public Health and Epidemiology
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Dermatology

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The skin acts as a protective barrier against a number of hazards within our environment. These hazards can be: chemical, e.g. acids, alkalis, solvents, cutting, or soluble oils; biological, e.g. bacteria, plant allergens, or raw food; or physical, e.g. ultraviolet light, or mechanical shearing forces. In some situations the defensive properties of the skin are exceeded resulting in cuts, grazes, inflammation, ulceration, infection, and occasionally malignant change. The risk factors for breakdown of skin defences can be categorized as: (i) occupational—common at-risk groups are cleaners, food handlers, hairdressers, and workers in contact with cutting fluids; and (ii) non-occupational—where genetic predisposition to skin disorders is an important factor. Workers with non-occupational skin disorders can suffer exacerbations of their underlying dermatological condition in workplaces where the environment is hot and humid or extremely cold or dry.

Chapter.  4534 words. 

Subjects: Occupational Medicine ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Occupational Therapy ; Dermatology

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