Work-Related Skin Diseases

In statutory accident insurance, skin diseases are by far the most frequently reported diseases among employees (this does not include skin cancers caused by UV radiation from the sun or artificial sources of radiation).

If a report is received, the top priority is to heal the damaged skin and thus enable the insured to remain in their profession. There are good prevention strategies and the DGUV dermatologist’s procedure for this. Nowadays, skin disease makes it less and less common to give up work (see also ” Facts and Figures “). Then an occupational disease would have to be recognized in terms of occupational disease law.

Work-related skin diseases exist in many industries. The health service and the hairdressing industry, for example, but also metalworking companies, cleaning companies, and the catering trade are particularly affected. Usually, it is hand eczema. This is inflammation of the skin, which often oozes, forms blisters, and can be very painful due to cracks in the skin. They are mainly caused by wet work, i.e. repeated contact with water and cleaning agents. However, handling other liquids or working with gloves can also cause skin symptoms. If eczema is not treated in good time, it can become chronic and force you to give up your professional activity.

If work-related skin changes occur, the company doctor or dermatologist should be consulted at an early stage. This informs the responsible trade association or accident insurance company and, if necessary, already carries out an initial consultation.

The employees of the accident insurance institutions coordinate the necessary medical treatment. Together with those affected and the dermatologists, they try to find the causes of the disease and eliminate them. Almost always, there are indications for an improvement in occupational health and safety. In the case of skin symptoms that have already occurred, the respective preventive measures should always be selected individually and take place in parallel with the medical treatment, which is part of the ” dermatologist’s procedure “The type of measures is very different from branch to branch, as the skin stresses that occur there are also different.

In many areas, participation in industry-specific skin protection seminars (so-called secondary individual prevention), which are offered by various UV carriers (e.g. BGW SIP seminars ), has also proven to be very effective. Separate training and advice centers( Schu.ber.z ) have been set up for hairdressers and nursing staff, but these are also open to other professional groups. Other accident insurance institutions provide advice directly on-site at the workplaces.

If these measures are not sufficient either, the accident insurance institutions offer occupational dermatological inpatient rehabilitation in specialized clinics. Here, too, the aim is to enable the insured to remain in their profession. Such offers are available, for example, in the professional association clinic for occupational diseases in Bad Reichenhall and Dermot the Osnabrück and Hamburg locations. The costs of the measures mentioned are fully covered by the accident insurance institutions.

The employers are legally obliged to provide suitable protective measures, e.g. skin protection and care products as well as protective gloves, insofar as the activity of the insured person is skin-stressing. Contact persons on the employer’s side can be the supervisor, but also the company doctor, safety engineer, or the works council.

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