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Contact Dermatitis. 2013 May;68(5):259-68. doi: 10.1111/cod.12045.

One thousand cases of severe occupational contact dermatitis.

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Department of Dermato-Allergology, National Allergy Research Centre, Copenhagen University Hospital Gentofte, 2900 Hellerup, Denmark.



Occupational contact dermatitis is frequent, and further understanding of the epidemiology will improve the basis of its prevention. Objectives. To identify occupations at risk for severe occupational contact dermatitis.


The last 1000 cases of severe occupational contact dermatitis seen at our department were identified.


The study population comprised 618 females and 382 males. The mean age at onset of irritant contact dermatitis was significantly lower than the mean age at onset of allergic contact dermatitis for both sexes, irrespective of the presence of atopic dermatitis. Females at high risk were cooks, butchers, beauticians, bakers, and hairdressers, ranging from 23.3 to 96.8 cases per 10 000 workers per year. Males at high risk were painters, cooks, mechanics, locksmiths, and bakers, ranging from 16.5 to 32.3 cases per 10000 workers per year.


Occupational contact dermatitis remains frequent, even if only severe cases are considered. It is a concern that no effective, systematic interventions and prevention schemes have been launched in Europe, despite documentation of a significant problem over many years, and knowledge of risk occupations and risk factors. This study suggests new approaches for general and specific prevention of occupational contact dermatitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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