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Br J Dermatol. 2002 Aug;147(2):270-5.

Dermatitis caused by physical irritants.

Author information

  • 1St John's Institute of Dermatology Contact Dermatitis Clinic, St Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7EH, UK. themojos@cwcom.net

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Although physical irritant contact dermatitis (PICD) is a common occupational dermatosis, it is one of the least well understood because of its multiple types, lack of diagnostic test, and the many mechanisms involved in its production.

OBJECTIVES:

To characterize the materials and mechanisms of physical irritation of the skin.

METHODS:

We did a retrospective analysis over the past 20 years of all patients with a diagnosis of PICD at St John's Institute of Dermatology Contact Dermatitis Clinic.

RESULTS:

Of the 29,000 patients who attended the clinic over the study period, 392 patients were diagnosed with PICD and of these, 335 files were analysed.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our findings show that PICD accounted for 1.15% of all patients attending the contact clinic over the study period. Diverse occupations and materials were implicated. The most common cause of PICD was low humidity due to air-conditioning, which caused dermatitis of the face and neck in office workers due to drying out of the skin.

PMID:
12174098
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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