Dermatitis of the hands in caterers

Contact Dermatitis. 1987 Nov;17(5):265-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0536.1987.tb01475.x.


Hand eczema among 50 caterers was occupational in 47 and endogenous in 3 cases. Irritants were considered more important than sensitisers. There was a correlation between atopy and sensitisation to type-I but not type-IV allergens. The commonest type-I sensitiser was fish and for type-IV was garlic. Dilutions of garlic and of onion 50% in arachis oil were not irritant and seemed effective patch test materials. The prognosis was not good and the hand eczema continued even in some of those who changed their jobs.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Dermatitis, Contact / etiology*
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / chemically induced*
  • Female
  • Fish Oils / adverse effects
  • Food Handling*
  • Hand Dermatoses / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patch Tests


  • Fish Oils