Occupational dermatitis is a major concern in the construction sector, especially to masons due to their exposure to cement and other skin irritants; contact with certain metals, solvents or cleaning supplies also increase the risk of dermatitis (Contact dermatitis).
Dermatitis is skin inflammation. It is characterized by red, dry and itchy skin. More serious dermatitis may result in crusty scales, painful cracks, or blisters that ooze fluid. The exact cause of dermatitis is often unclear. Cases are believed to often involve a combination of irritation, allergy, and poor venous return.
Types of Dermatitis
- Atopic dermatitis (Eczema): It usually begins at infancy. This red, itchy rash most commonly occurs where the skin flexes — inside the elbows, behind the knees and the front of the neck. When scratched, the rash can leak fluid and crust over. People with atopic dermatitis may experience improvement and then flare-ups. It is caused by bacteria on the skin and environmental conditions.
- Contact dermatitis: It involves allergic contact dermatitis and irritant contact dermatitis. This rash occurs on areas of the body that have come into contact with substances that either irritate the skin or cause an allergic reaction, such as poison ivy, soap and essential oils. The red rash may burn, sting or itch resulting to blisters. It results from direct contact with one of many irritants or allergens — such as poison ivy, jewelry containing nickel, cleaning products, perfumes, cosmetics, and even the preservatives in many creams and lotions.
- Seborrheic dermatitis: This condition causes scaly patches, red skin and stubborn dandruff. It usually affects oily areas of the body, such as the face, upper chest and back. It can be a long-term condition with periods of remission and flare-ups. In infants, this disorder is known as cradle cap. It is caused by yeast (fungus) that is in the oil secretion on the skin.
Prevention and Management of dermatitis
- Moisturize your skin: While your skin is still damp, seal in moisture with oil or cream.
- Avoid irritants: For contact dermatitis especially, try to minimize contact with the substance that caused your rash.
- Avoid rubbing and scratching cover the itchy area with dress if you can’t keep from scratching it. Trim nails and wear gloves at night.
- Wear cotton clothing; Smooth-textured cotton clothing can help you avoid irritating the affected area.
- Wear safe clothing that covers you well to prevent contact with irritants.