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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.

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Department of Dermato-Allergology, Research Centre for Hairdressers and Beauticians, Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte, DK-2900 Gentofte, Denmark.



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


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


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.


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).


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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