As today is Labor Day, and most of us are off enjoying time with friends and family, it is a joyous time to reflect on how hard we truly work. Sure, working can be exhausting and take a toll on your body, especially if you are in an industry that requires physical labor, but your occupation might have different effects on your body and health than you initially thought.
Work-related skin diseases are the second-most common type of occupational disease. They account for about 50 percent of occupational illnesses, while also being the underlying cause for 25 percent of lost workdays. Those in construction, agriculture, food service, cosmetology, health care, and auto repair are some of the workers that are most at risk of occupational skin diseases. These diseases can take various forms, including allergic contact dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis, infections, injuries, skin cancer and more. Contact dermatitis is the most common occupational disease, with symptoms including painful and itchy skin, blisters, redness and swelling.
Most occupational skin diseases are caused by chemical agents, whether they are in direct contact with the skin or are inhaled. While some irritants and allergic reactions can happen immediately after contact, weaker agents can affect the skin over time. Therefore, it is important to realize that even if you don’t have a reaction right away, that does not mean that the chemical is not affecting you.
While exposure to chemicals in the workplace is an obvious danger, those in construction or other industries that spend a lot of hours in sunlight, have different skin diseases to worry about: cancer. Protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is essential every day of the year. Even in the winter months and on cloudy days, your skin is still exposed to the sun’s rays.
Top 3 Tips to Protect Your Skin While At Work
- Wear Sunscreen – any time you are working outdoors or in indirect sunlight (i.e. – driving)
- Protect Your Skin with Gloves – if you are a hair stylist, be sure to always wear latex gloves when coloring or dying client’s hair
- Protective Clothing – wear protective clothing when working around any chemicals or wear UPF clothing to help protect from harmful UVA/UVB rays.
Concerned about your skin?
Make an appointment with the skin care experts at Trillium Creek Dermatology & Surgery. Call: 330.725.0569