Our skin is incredibly important to us; we are obligated to take care of it, especially in a world where we are judged on so many things. The health and beauty industry is bursting with creams and products which all claim to remedy one or more issues associated with the skin such as wrinkles and or dry skin. When working we are often exposing our bodies to various elements, materials and chemicals which could adversely affect the health of your skin.
Working in industries such as beauty, nursing and even hairdressing can have serious implications to your hands and arms if protective steps are not taken to reduce the risks. Employers should be taking an active approach to supporting the well being of every employee and as such failure to do so can be deemed as a form of negligence and may result legal action by the affected party.
The condition that I am referring to is known as Dermatitis and is similar to eczema in looks and symptoms. If left untreated it can be incredibly painful and may even affect your ability to perform even simple household tasks like washing the dishes etc. Luckily dermatitis is usually easily managed and or treated, avoiding the allergen is usually the simplest way to prevent progression of the ailment. This is not always possible and as such a trip to the doctor may be needed to alleviate the issue (usually through the application of a topical cream.
Who is at risk?
Hair dressers and nurses are susceptible to this condition as they interact with water multiple times throughout the day when washing the hair of clients or their own hands after attending to a patient. If not dried off correctly the skin will often become flaky, crack and become red/ irritable. After working with water the employee must ensure that their hands are dried thoroughly and if needed a pH neutral moisturiser should be used to keep the arms and attached appendages from drying out.
Beauticians are also at risk of developing dermatitis through constant contact with substances, which over time may aggravate the skin. A condition like dermatitis has the potential to severely restrict your ability to work and many employers are taking the necessary precautions to safeguard members of staff. Gloves are generally considered to be the most practical of all PPE (personal protective equipment) however barrier cream is regularly provided although it is often unsuccessful. You must be careful when using gloves as many people are allergic to latex so could actually have a reaction to the protection.