PROBLEM – Contact Dermatitis in Aged & Healthcare
- Irritant contact dermatitis is extremely common among nurses, ranging in prevalence surveys from 25% to 55%, and as many as 85% relate a history of having skin problems.572,573 Frequent and repeated use of hand hygiene products, particularly soaps and other detergents, is an important cause of chronic irritant contact dermatitis among HCWs ( Health Care Workers). The potential of detergents to cause skin irritation varies considerably and can be reduced by the addition of humectants. Irritation associated with antimicrobial soaps may be attributable to the antimicrobial agent or to other ingredients of the formulation. Affected HCWs often complain of a feeling of dryness or burning, skin that feels “rough”, and erythema, scaling or fissures.
- Allergic contact dermatitis — this is caused by an allergen (a trigger). Each time you come into contact with the allergen, the skin gets inflamed.
- Irritant contact dermatitis — this is when your skin gets inflamed when it’s exposed to an irritant usually for a long period of time.
In general, irritant contact dermatitis is more commonly reported with iodophors220 Other antiseptic agents that may cause irritant contact dermatitis, in order of decreasing frequency, include chlorhexidine, chloroxylenol, triclosan, and alcohol-based products. Skin that is damaged by repeated exposure to detergents may be more susceptible to irritation by all types of hand antisepsis formulations, including alcohol-based preparation
IMPACT – Economic and Social
- Occupational contact dermatitis (OCD) is a skin condition caused by work-related exposures. It occurs in workers who are exposed to irritating or allergenic substances or specific physical factors in the workplace. Eliminating or preventing exposure to these agents or conditions can largely prevent the occurrence, and if already present, the severity of OCD.
- The disease is most common amongst nurses, food handlers, hairdressers and beauty therapists, motor mechanics, cleaners, construction workers and specialised epoxy workers, printers and those within the health care and manufacturing industries.1 In most western industrialised countries, OCD is one of the most commonly reported and underestimated occupational diseases with international estimates of incidence varying between 50-190 cases per 100 000 full-time workers per year.
- A large study of general practitioner (GP) activity in Australia (BEACH) obtained information on work-related illness, as reported by a random sample of GPs.4 Work-related problems accounted for 2.4% of cases managed by GPs, 28% of these were new presentations. Skin conditions were the second most common workrelated problem presented to GPs (13%). Dermatitis caused 1.5% of all new work-related problems. Dermatitis was particularly common in younger persons, and workers’ compensation was obtained in only 19.7% of all cases.
OCCUPATIONAL CONTACT DERMATITIS (safeworkaustralia.gov.au)
Impact of loss productivity in Healthcare workers due to contact dermatitis and the workers compensation that follows ends up in the millions of dollars an could have been preventable.
SOLUTION – Assessments & the right product
Assessment of skin condition is imperative to ascertaining whether staff have contact dermatitis
SOLUTION – Elyptol your worksafe partner
Elyptol’s product range is designed specifically for healthcare workers and for frequent use, can be used up to 100 times a day.
With Elyptol’s natural formula including Eucalyptus oil that has been scientifically proven to alleviate and relieve allergic dermatitis.