Handwashing among healthcare workers leads to rise in dermatitis

Efforts to enhance hand hygiene and reduce healthcare-associated infections have also led to the rise in dermatitis among healthcare workers, according to a study conducted by The University of Manchester.

Irritant contact dermatitis is the inflammation, reddening and scaling of the skin. It is a common source of occupational skin disorders in individuals who work with soaps, cleaners and solvents, according to Medscape.

Researchers examined a database of more than 7,100 cases of work-related skin problems reported between 1996 and 2012, and found nearly 1,800 of the reported cases affected healthcare workers.

Additionally, cases of irritant contact dermatitis increased drastically among healthcare workers over the studied time period. Healthcare workers were 4.5 times more likely to report suffering from skin problems in 2012 than in 1996, whereas other professions remained the same.

"Obviously we don't want people to stop washing their hands, so more needs to be done to procure less irritating products and to implement practices to prevent and treat irritant contact dermatitis," said epidemiologist and lead researcher Jill Stocks, PhD.



More articles on hand hygiene:
Compliance with WHO's hand hygiene alcohol rub technique: 4 findings
Hand hygiene in 2015: Embrace the new number
Face touching is a habit: Raise awareness to raise hand hygiene compliance

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