Objectives: To determine if a protective cream (PC) is adequately applied to the hands by workers in several occupations and to quantify what areas are covered or missed.
Design: Prospective diagnostic study.
Settings: Metalworking factory, construction sites, and university hospital.
Participants: One hundred fifty healthy volunteers (50 from each setting) were recruited for a questionnaire interview and typical self-application of a PC.
Main outcome measure: Percentage of sufficient cover with PC as assessed with fluorescence under Wood light.
Results: Many areas were skipped when viewed under Wood light. The application of PC was incomplete, especially on the dorsal aspects of the hands.
Conclusion: Individuals should be made aware of the most commonly missed regions to ensure complete skin protection. This simple method is a useful adjunct to quantify self-application and in worker education.