Background. Protein contact dermatitis is a frequent disorder among hand eczema patients who have occupational food contact. Knowledge about the consequences of having protein contact dermatitis is lacking. Objectives. To investigate the consequences of having occupational skin disease on the hands resulting from food handling, with a focus on protein contact dermatitis. Material and methods. One hundred and seventy-eight patients who were identified as having skin disease related to occupational food exposure and who answered a questionnaire concerning the consequences of their skin disease were included in the study. The patients were consecutively examined at Gentofte Hospital, Denmark between 2001 and 2010. Results. Seventy-five per cent of patients with protein contact dermatitis had to wear gloves at work, and 62.5% reported sick leave lasting for >3 weeks, as compared with 60.2% and 30%, respectively, of the patients with other occupational food-related hand dermatoses (p = 0.02). Sixty-two per cent and 43%, respectively, had to change job because of skin problems (p = 0.02). Atopic dermatitis was equally common in the two groups. Conclusion. We found that the patients with protein contact dermatitis experienced more severe and frequent consequences than patients with other food-related hand dermatoses.
Contact Dermatitis, 2012, Vol 66, Issue 5, p. 264-70