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5 Common Occupational Skin Illnesses

While skin illnesses can happen in almost all occupations, some workers are more exposed than others. Let’s discuss the five most common occupational skin illnesses.

Did you know that occupational skin diseases are the second most common type of occupational illness in the US?  It is estimated that more than 70,000  workers suffer occupational skin illnesses annually. However, while skin illnesses can happen in almost all occupations, some workers are more exposed than others. The most vulnerable workers are in cosmetology, printing, construction, catering, and the auto repair industry.

Let’s consider five of the most common occupational skin illnesses.

st. louis worker with a skin illness

1. Dermatitis

By far, this is the most common occupational skin illness. It generally occurs when you make contact with skin irritants or allergens. As a result, your skin develops redness, scaling, swelling, or cracking. Sometimes the symptoms may become so severe and make you unable to sleep or carry on with your everyday work.

Here are the common types of work-related dermatitis.

Irritant Contact Dermatitis: This occurs when the skin is affected at the place of contact with irritant substances such as detergents, organic solvents, or acids.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis: This condition is acquired after contacting sensitizing substances such as resins, rubber additives, or hazardous metals such as mercury, chromium, and nickel.

Air Bone Dermatitis: Air bone dermatitis occurs when you’re continually exposed to occupational dust such as glass fiber, cement, wood dust, sand, or textile fibers.

2. Urticaria

This is another skin condition you may suffer on the job. It generally occurs due to continuous exposure to chemical substances that irritate your skin or trigger allergic reactions. For example, you are at a high risk of this horrific condition if you work with meat, potatoes, or latex protein and may experience tingling, burning sensation, or itching on the affected area.

3. Occupational Acne

Occupational acne generally occurs when your skin oil glands are clogged by tar or halogen-containing chemical substances, forming cysts, spots, or pimples. You are most vulnerable to occupational acne if you work in the auto service industry.

4. Skin Cancer

Working with tar, paraffin, carbazole, or pitch may irritate your skin epidermis, creating a perfect condition for squamous or basal cell skin cancer. If you have skin cancer, your skin may develop an ulcer, a red lump, or a bleeding patch.

5.  Weather-Related Skin Conditions

Working outdoors during winter puts you at a high risk of frostbites or vasoconstriction. On the other hand, working under hot conditions exposes your skin to sweat stagnation, which can cause itchy skin rashes. Extreme heat can also cause skin burns, especially in deep mines, bakeries, or kitchens.

St. Louis Workers Compensation Attorneys

Have you suffered an occupational skin condition or another work-related injury? You may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Get in touch with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at the Law Office of James M. Hoffmann 24/7 for a free case evaluation.

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Updated: February 6, 2024