Background: Occupational hand eczema is common in hairdressers, owing to excessive exposure to wet work and hairdressing chemicals.
Objectives: To quantify occupational skin exposure and the use of protective gloves among hairdressers in Denmark.
Methods: A register-based study was conducted comprising all graduates from hairdressing vocational schools from 1985 to 2007 (n = 7840). The participants received a self-administered postal questionnaire in May 2009, including questions on hairdressing tasks performed in the past week at work and the extent of glove use. A response rate of 67.9% (n = 5324) was obtained.
Results: Of the respondents, 55.7% still worked as hairdressers, and they formed the basis of this study. Daily wet work was excessive; 86.6% had wet hands for ≥2 hr, and 54% for ≥ 4 hr. Glove use was fairly frequent for full head hair colouring and bleaching procedures (93-97.7%), but less frequent for highlighting/lowlighting procedures (49.7-60.5%) and permanent waving (28.3%). Gloves were rarely worn during hair washing (10%), although this was more frequently the case after hair colouring procedures (48.9%).
Conclusions: Occupational skin exposure was excessive among hairdressers; the extent of wet work and chemical treatments was high, and glove use was inconsistent, especially for certain hair colouring procedures and wet work tasks.
© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.