Contact dermatitis in tobacco farmworkers

Contact Dermatitis. 2007 Jul;57(1):40-3. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0536.2007.01148.x.


Occupational skin disease is highly prevalent among agricultural workers. Tobacco cultivation and harvest are particularly hazardous for farmworkers. We report 5 migrant Latino farmworkers in North Carolina with contact dermatitis related to tobacco work. These cases show a characteristic distribution of contact dermatitis; the flexural and medial surfaces of the upper extremities were affected in each case, whereas most cases showed some involvement of the torso and axilla. This pattern most likely reflects a common occupational practice of holding the tobacco leaves under the arm and pressed against the body during harvesting.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / diagnosis
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / etiology*
  • Dermatitis, Contact / etiology*
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Patch Tests
  • Tobacco / adverse effects*
  • Transients and Migrants