Healthcare workers are, unsurprisingly, one of the main groups who suffer from occupational contact dermatitis (OCD), according to a major report recently released by Safe Work Australia. OCD is the most common occupationally-caused skin disease and one of the most common work-related problems presented to GPs in Australia, but even then it is probably under-reported. Predictably, the hands, followed by the arms, are the main sites of dermatatis, which for nurses is generally caused by exposure to water, soap, detergents and/or latex gloves.
Safe Work Australia has also helped fund the Occupational Dermatology Research and Education Centre, which has very valuable information about latex allergy and about general care of the hands and skin. They say that where skin problems can be expected to occur, “workplaces should have a skin care plan implemented for all workers to follow”.
How about you? Do you suffer from work-related dermatitis or have you worked alongside someone who has? Does your workplace have a skin care plan in place? Do you have any tips for managing this condition while still working as a nurse?
Image credit: HandEczema