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Occupational skin diseases among institutional housekeeping personnel in a government hospital

Camille Ann L. Asuncion, MD, MBA, Kirsten Diane G. Dy-Rabo, MD, DPDS, Maria Franchesca S. Quinio, MD, DPDS, Ma. Angela M. Lavadia, MD, FPDS



Occupational dermatoses are among the most commonly encountered occupational-related diseases worldwide, with housekeeping personnel among those at high risk. Disease impact to the individual and public health includes prolonged absences and unemployment leading to decreased quality of life.



We determined the point prevalence, types, and effects on quality of life of occupational skin diseases among institutional housekeeping personnel in a selected government hospital.



A single-center, cross-sectional study was utilized. A total of 91 respondents participated in the study. A self-administered, validated questionnaire was used to inquire about skin symptoms, work history and exposures, glove use, and effect on quality of life. All respondents with self-reported symptoms of eczema underwent dermatologic evaluation and ancillary procedure/s including patch testing was performed for indicated cases.



Prevalence of occupational dermatoses was 62%. The most common diagnosis was allergic contact dermatitis (56%). Most of the respondents reported itching and redness, which was mainly located on the hands (64%). Clinical findings showed a predominance of papules (48%), plaques (44%), and scales (37%). Detergent (powder and liquid) and latex gloves were the most common self-identified sensitizers. The most common contact allergen identified by patch test was nickel (34%, p=0.000) and potassium dichromate (14%, p=0.009). A total of 32% reported that their dermatologic symptoms affected their quality of life, especially their sleep (45%) during the past 12 months. Conclusion: Contact dermatitis is the most common occupational dermatosis among institutional housekeeping personnel. Self-reporting of eczema and skin symptoms strengthens the diagnosis of contact dermatitis which affects quality of life. The results of this study are an essential aid in the planning and implementation of guidelines by appropriate government and private agencies for occupational health and safety in the study population.


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Occupational skin diseases among institutional housekeeping personnel in a government hospital