The present study was designed as an intervention study to investigate whether an educational programme was efficient in preventing work-related skin problems on the hands. 107 student auxiliary nurses (61 in the intervention group and 46 in the control group) were followed during the first 10 weeks of their initial practical training in county hospitals. The intervention group was given an educational programme before the practical training started. For evaluation the participants had questionnaires, clinical examination of the hands, measurement of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) and patch testing. The use of hand disinfectants, which was discouraged in the educational programme, was significantly lower in the intervention group as compared to the control group (p=0.002). 48% of the intervention group and 58% of the control group had aggravation of skin problems during practical training (p>0.05). Use of hand disinfectant agents was significantly associated with aggravation of skin problems (p=0.016). A significant increase in TEWL for the control group (p<0.005), but not for the intervention group, was seen after 10 weeks of practical training. In conclusion, the present intervention study shows promising results from the use of an educational programme.