Glossary

Skin disorders

Occupational skin disease

A skin disorder wholly or partially caused by a person's work activity

Acne

A condition caused by a blockage and inflammation of the glands in the skin, resulting in a flushing and redness of the skin, spots or lumps

Allergen/sensitiser

A substance that can provoke an allergic reaction

Atopy

A genetic tendency to develop allergic disease, for example dermatitis, rhinitis or asthma. An atopic person is hypersensitive to substances, usually proteins, in their environment

BSIF

British Safety Industry Federation

Contact dermatitis or eczema

Inflammation of the skin which is caused by direct contact with an irritating substance or allergen. It’s characterised by redness, dryness and itching, and, in severe cases, by cracking, blistering, flaking and bleeding. Dermatitis and eczema are often used synonymously

Contact urticaria

An allergic skin reaction on the skin, characterised by redness, swellings and intense itching

Dermatologist

A medical doctor who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of skin disorders

Dermatology

A branch of medicine that deals with skin diseases and disorders

Emollients

Creams that soften, soothe and moisturise the skin

Folliculitis

An inflammation of the hair follicles due to an infection or irritation

HSE

Health and Safety Executive

Occupational health nurse

Occupational health nursing is a nursing specialism which covers health and well-being in the workplace 

Occupational medicine

The medical specialty which covers the multi-faceted relationship between health and work.

Occupational physician

An occupational physician is a doctor with specialist training and qualifications in occupational medicine.

Patch testing

A method used to investigate people with suspected allergic contact dermatitis. Sticky patches containing various suspected allergens are placed on the person’s back. If they’re allergic to a particular substance, they’ll have a reaction within 48 to 96 hours

THOR

The Health and Occupation Reporting Network

Wet work

Work which causes the skin to come into contact with water, or which involves wearing impervious protective gloves over a long period of time, causing the hand to become moist from perspiration.

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Stress | Musculoskeletal | Occupational cancer | Skin disorders | Inhalation | Non-work related conditions