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Skin care at work

Work-related skin problems are very common. Although skin problems can happen in most workplaces, certain jobs present a higher risk, eg the health and social care sector.

Those most affected are nurses, midwives, medical radiographers, nursing auxiliaries and assistants, medical practitioners and physiotherapists. However, all employees in this sector can suffer from work-related skin problems as they have to wash their hands regularly and their skin is frequently exposed to chemicals or rubber materials used in personal protective equipment (PPE).

Contact dermatitis is the most common form of work-related skin disease in health and social care professionals. Much less commonly reported skin problems such as contact urticaria may be seen in individuals who have latex allergies and are sensitive to natural rubber latex (NRL).

HSE has a skin at work website - providing information for all industries on how to prevent work-related skin diseases in workplaces – where you can get further help if needed. However, HSE has provided specific information and guidance for employers relating to dermatitis and latex allergies in the health and social care sector.

Updated 2013-01-03