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Contact Dermatitis. 2013 May;68(5):300-6. doi: 10.1111/cod.12016. Epub 2013 Apr 16.

Hairdressers presenting to an occupational dermatology clinic in Melbourne, Australia.

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Department of Occupational Dermatology Research and Education Centre, Skin and Cancer Foundation Inc., 3053 Carlton, Australia.



Hairdressers constitute one of the largest occupational groups attending our occupational dermatology clinic in Melbourne, Australia.


To perform a retrospective review of the clinical assessments of hairdressers and trainee hairdressers attending our clinic, including patch testing results.


We used our clinic database to identify trainee and qualified hairdressers who had attended our occupational dermatology clinic between January 1993 and December 2010.


One hundred and sixty-four hairdressers and hairdressing apprentices were identified. One hundred and fifty-seven had a diagnosis of occupational contact dermatitis (OCD), with allergic contact dermatitis being the primary diagnosis in 71% and irritant contact dermatitis in 20%. Involvement of more than one body part was suggestive of allergic contact dermatitis (p = 0.05). Sixty-five per cent of participants were found to have more than one factor contributing to their OCD. Allergic contact dermatitis was more common in apprentices than in qualified hairdressers. Ammonium persulfate, p-phenylenediamine, toluene-2,5-diamine and glyceryl monothioglycolate were the most common occupational allergens. Nickel allergy was seen in 31% of hairdressers, but considered to be occupationally relevant in only 3%.


Multiple sensitizations and multiple factors contributing to OCD in hairdressers are common. More needs to be done to prevent the development of OCD in hairdressers in our geographical region.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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