Occupational Contact Dermatitis

  • Anja Thielitz
  • Swen Malte JohnEmail author


Occupational contact dermatitis affects primarily the hands (90–95 %) and results from a complex interaction of exogenous factors (irritant or allergic) and predisposing endogenous factors like atopy or “sensitive skin.” Irritant factors play a causative role in up to 80 % of occupational skin diseases, primarily determined by “wet work” but also by contact to organic solvents, irritant foods, dust, or mechanical pressure. The diagnosis of chronic irritant dermatitis represents an “exclusion diagnosis” after allergic etiology has meticulously been ruled out by systematic diagnostic procedures including assessment of clinical relevance. The most important preventive measure is to identify and avoid irritant or allergic trigger factors by implementation of both workplace-related and worker-related risk reduction strategies.


Occupational Skin Disease Irritant dermatitis Wet work Prevention 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of DermatologyInstitute for Interdisciplinary Dermatological Prevention and Rehabilitation (iDerm) of the University of Osnabrück, and Dermatologic Centre, Trauma HospitalHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Dermatology, Environmental Medicine and Health TheoryLower Saxonian Institute of Occupational Dermatology (NIB), University of OsnabrueckOsnabrückGermany

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