Skin temperature and skin symptoms among workers in the fish processing industry

Contact Dermatitis. 1988 Sep;19(3):206-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0536.1988.tb02896.x.


196 workers employed in the fish processing industry participated in a survey of skin disorders. 156 (80%) had experienced skin problems during their work with fish on some occasions. The symptoms were itching, redness and stinging. Although the fingers are in direct contact with fish meat and juice, skin symptoms only seldom occur here, but instead almost exclusively on the forearms (70%) and the backs of the hands (26%). The skin temperature of the fingers and palms of the hands ranged from 17 degrees C to 20 degrees C, while the temperature on the backs of the hands and forearms ranged from 25 degrees C to 30 degrees C. Skin temperatures less than 20 degrees C abolish itch and reduce vasodilation by half. We suggest that the low temperature on the fingers affords protection against the development of some irritant skin reactions and that differences in skin temperature may be an important reason for the location of skin symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Dermatitis, Contact / etiology*
  • Dermatitis, Contact / physiopathology
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / etiology*
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / physiopathology
  • Face / physiology
  • Female
  • Fishes*
  • Food-Processing Industry*
  • Forearm / physiology
  • Hand Dermatoses / etiology
  • Hand Dermatoses / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin Temperature*