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Contact Dermatitis. 2011 Sep;65(3):151-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0536.2011.01935.x. Epub 2011 Jun 21.

Hand eczema in hairdressers: a Danish register-based study of the prevalence of hand eczema and its career consequences.

Author information

1
Department of Dermato-Allergology, Research Centre for Hairdressers and Beauticians, Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte, DK-2900 Gentofte, Denmark. sushov04@geh.regionh.dk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Occupational hand eczema is common in hairdressers, owing to wet work and hairdressing chemicals.

OBJECTIVES:

To estimate the prevalence of hand eczema and its career consequences among hairdressers in Denmark.

METHODS:

A register-based study was conducted, comprising all graduates from hairdressing vocational schools from 1985 to 2007 (n = 7840). The participants received a self-administered postal questionnaire including questions on hand eczema, atopic dermatitis, and career change. A response rate of 67.9% (n = 5324) was obtained.

RESULTS:

Of the respondents, 44.3% no longer worked as hairdressers and had worked for an average of 8.4 years in the profession before leaving it. Hand eczema was more common among ex-hairdressers (48.4%) than among current hairdressers (37.6%) (p < 0.0001), and significantly more ex-hairdressers (26.8%) than current hairdressers (15.7%) had chronic hand eczema (p < 0.0001). Of the respondents with hand eczema, 75% were aged 15-24 years at onset, and 45.5% gave hand eczema as a reason for career change. In this group, logistic regression analysis showed that chronic hand eczema contributed the most to the decision to change career (odds ratio 50.12; 95% confidence interval 18.3-137).

CONCLUSIONS:

Hairdressers work an average of 8.4 years in the profession before leaving it, and hand eczema contributes significantly to this career change.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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