Mechanical Causes of Occupational Skin Disease

  • L. Kanerva


The skin is well adapted to cope with many types of trauma, but excessive friction and microtrauma can result in the formation of various dermatoses (Table 1). Microtraumas include a variety of superficial skin injuries: friction, abrasions, pressure, stretching, compressions, cuts, etc. Mechanical insults to the skin may affect all levels of the skin from the cornified layer through the subcutaneous fat. The time allowed for adaptation determines the reaction of the skin. Slowly increasing pressure or friction induces hyperkeratosis, lichenification and calluses, while sudden friction can induce blisters. The effects of trauma are modified by humidity, sweating, age, gender, nutritional status, infection, genetic and racial factors.


Contact Dermatitis Allergic Contact Dermatitis Mechanical Trauma Hand Eczema Irritant Contact Dermatitis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Alanko K, Kanerva L, Estlander T, Jolanki R, Leino T, Suhonen R (1997) Hairdresser’s koilonychia. Am J Contact Dermat 8: 177–178PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Andersen KE (1994) Mechanical trauma and hand eczema. In: Menne T, Maibach H (eds) Hand eczema. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 31–34Google Scholar
  3. Argyris TS (1985) Promotion of epidermal carcinogenesis by repeated damage to mouse skin. Am J Ind Med 8:329–337PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Baran R, Tosti A (1993) Occupational acro-osteolysis in a guitar player. Acta Derm Venereol 73:64–65PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bruynzeel DP, de Boer EM (1996) Compromised skin. In: van der Valk P, Maibach HI (eds) The irritant contact dermatitis syndrome. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 283–287Google Scholar
  6. Burton JL (1992) Eczema, lichenification, prurigo and erythroderma. In: Champion RH, Burton, JL, Ebling FJG (eds) Textbook of dermatology. Blackwell Scientific Publications, London, pp 537–588Google Scholar
  7. Calnan CD (1968) Eczema for me. Trans St John’s Hosp Dermatol Soc 54:54–64Google Scholar
  8. Cronin E (1995) Hand eczema. In: Rycroft RJG, Menne T, Frosch PJ (eds) Textbook of contact dermatitis, 2nd edn. Springer, Berlin Heidelberg New York, pp 207–218Google Scholar
  9. Destouet JM, Murphy WA (1981) Guitar player acro-osteolysis. Skeletal Radiol 6:275–277PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Epstein WL (1990) House and garden plants. In: Jackson EM, Goldner R (eds) Irritant contact dermatitis. Marcel Dekker, New York, pp 127–165Google Scholar
  11. Epstein JH, Ormsby A, Adams RM (1990) Occupational skin cancer. In: Adams RM (ed) Occupational skin disease, 2nd edn. Saunders, Philadelphia, pp 136–159Google Scholar
  12. Estlander T, Jolanki R, Kanerva L (1986) Dermatitis and urticaria from rubber and plastic gloves. Contact Dermatitis 14: 20–25PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Estlander T, Jolanki R, Kanerva L (1994a) Allergic contact dermatitis from rubber and plastic gloves. In: Mellström G, Wahlberg JE, Maibach HI (eds) Protective gloves for occupational use. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 221–239Google Scholar
  14. Estlander T, Jolanki R, Kanerva L (1994b) Protective gloves. In: Menne T, Maibach H (eds) Hand eczema. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 311–321Google Scholar
  15. Evans EJ, Schmidt RJ (1980) Plants and plant products that induce contact dermatitis. Planta Medica 38:289–316PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fischer T, Rystedt I (1983) Cobalt allergy in hard metal workers. Contact Dermatitis 9:115–121PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fischer T, Rystedt I (1985) Hand eczema among hard-metal workers. Am J Ind Med 8:381–394PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fleming MG, Bergfeit WF (1990) The etiology of irritant contact dermatitis. In: Jackson EM, Goldner R (eds) Irritant contact dermatitis. Marcel Dekker, New York, pp 41–66Google Scholar
  19. Freeman S, Rosen RH (1996) Irritant contact dermatitis resulting from repeated low-grade frictional trauma. In: van der Valk P, Maibach HI (eds) The irritant contact dermatitis syndrome. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 205–210Google Scholar
  20. Frosch PJ, Kligman AM (1976) The chamber-scarification test for irritancy. Contact Dermatitis 2:314–324PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Gellin GA (1987) Physical and mechanical causes of occupational dermatoses. In: Maibach HI, Gellin GA (eds) Occupational and industrial dermatology. Yearbook Medical Publishers, 2nd edn, Chicago, pp 88–93Google Scholar
  22. Gollhausen R, Kligman AM (1985) Effects of pressure on contact dermatitis. Am J Ind Med 8:323–328PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gould WM (1991) Friction dermatitis of the thumbs caused by pantyhose. Arch Dermatol 127:1740PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Grzegorczk L (1987) “Glashände” — ein neues berufsbedingtes Syndrom. Derm Beruf Umwelt 35:62Google Scholar
  25. Guignard JC (1979) Evaluation of exposure to vibration. In: Cralley LV, Cralley LJ (eds) Patty’s industrial hygiene and toxicology. (Theory and rationale of industrial hygiene practice, vol 3) Wiley Interscience, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  26. Hatch KL, Maibach HI (1985) Textile fiber dermatitis. Contact Dermatitis 12:1–11PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Kanerva

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations