In this study, we examined the impact of occupational contact dermatitis on quality of life. 181 patients, diagnosed with occupational contact dermatitis over a period of 3 years (1996-1999 inclusive), were sent a questionnaire based on the Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI) and the Short Form-36 (SF-36). 60 (32%) patients were in industrial occupations and 27 (14%) in health care. An overall response rate of 39% (n=70) was obtained. The median DLQI score was 5, with a mean score 6.6 (SD 6.4), which is similar to that seen in Behçet's syndrome and urticaria. There was no statistically-significant difference between male and female median scores (p=0.98) and no significant correlation between age and DLQI score nor between DLQI score and time from diagnosis. The most problematic quality of life areas were symptoms and feelings. Males scored highest in problems associated with work, relationships and treatment, whereas females scored highest in problems associated with symptoms and feelings, daily activities and leisure. The SF-36 scores showed an association between physical problems and emotional problems affecting work. From this study, it can be seen that occupational contact dermatitis has an appreciable impact on quality of life.