Prevention of occupational contact dermatitis

J Am Acad Dermatol. 1990 Oct;23(4 Pt 1):742-8. doi: 10.1016/0190-9622(90)70284-o.


Contact dermatitis is the most frequent type of occupational skin disease. Although prevention of contact dermatitis in the workplace should ideally be accomplished through total elimination of cutaneous exposure to hazardous substances, this is often not feasible. Therefore eight basic elements of a multidimensional approach to prevention have been identified. These elements include recognition of potential cutaneous irritants and allergens, engineering controls or chemical substitution to prevent skin exposure, personal protection with appropriate clothing or barrier creams, personal and environmental hygiene, regulation of potential allergens and irritants within the workplace, educational efforts to promote awareness of potential allergens and irritants, motivational techniques to promote safe work conditions and practices, and preemployment and periodic health screening. A comprehensive prevention program based on this multidimensional approach requires the cooperative efforts of employees, employers, engineers, chemists, industrial hygienists, safety and supervisory personnel, union representatives, governmental agencies, and occupational health practitioners.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dermatitis, Contact / prevention & control*
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / prevention & control*
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Humans
  • Hygiene
  • Mass Screening
  • Motivation
  • Protective Clothing