Self-application of a protective cream. Pitfalls of occupational skin protection

Arch Dermatol. 1997 Jul;133(7):861-4.


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.

Intervention: None.

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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Adult
  • Dermatitis, Occupational / prevention & control*
  • Dermatologic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Fingers / anatomy & histology
  • Fluorescence
  • Hand / anatomy & histology
  • Hand Dermatoses / prevention & control*
  • Health Education
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Metallurgy
  • Personnel, Hospital
  • Prospective Studies
  • Self Administration
  • Skin / anatomy & histology
  • Skin Care
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Dermatologic Agents