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Author: Brian Wu PhD. MD Candidate, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, USA; Chief Editor: Hon A/Prof Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand. Copy edited by Gus Mitchell. February 2016.
Beauticians represent a fairly large profession worldwide. Their occupation is associated with work-related skin disorders, including contact dermatitis and mechanical injury among others. In one study in Poland, for instance, it was found that 21% of hair stylists and beauticians had some form of occupational skin disease.
There are many factors which put beauticians at a high occupational risk, including:
An occupational skin disorder is a dermatological condition brought on due to a patient’s job or work duties and is also called an occupational dermatosis. Occupational dermatoses are responsible for many lost days or work. The patient may have to change professions due to ongoing skin disease. These dermatoses can be brought about through work-related exposure to allergens, irritants, extreme weather conditions, and solar radiation. Occupational skin disorders have a large economic impact on employers and employees.
There are several specific skin disorders associated with work as a beautician. They include:
Mechanical injury to the skin often results from contact with scissors, razors or other tools/equipment.
Allergic contact dermatitis is common among beauticians.
Skin conditions that are common in beauticians
In order to be effective, a workplace must be assessed for:
Once risks have been identified, reducing these risks can include any of the following:
Gloves for hand protection are the most commonly used form of personal protective equipment among beauticians. It has been shown that the use of gloves can reduce exposure to a variety of irritants and allergens. However, if gloves contain latex or accelerants like thiuram, they can become allergens themselves. Use of non-latex gloves and training on their proper donning and disposal can reduce these problems.
Nail technicians particularly tend to wear face masks for prolonged periods which can result in various skin reactions.
Hand care advice includes:
Diagnosis of an occupational skin disorder can be based on:
Treatment of dermatitis can include:
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