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Skin Disease as a Common Occupational Health Problem

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Skin inflammation and disease are some of the most common health problems cited in workers compensation claims. A study published in American Family Physician reports that more than 50 percent of health disorders related to an occupation are skin problems. Workers who are having trouble with claim approval may want to visit the website and schedule a free consultation.

Contact Dermatitis

The most frequent occupational skin problem is medically known as contact dermatitis. The person develops a rash wherever the skin was exposed to the substance causing a reaction. If the reaction is severe enough, the skin develops blisters. If the individual is allergic to the substance, even a tiny amount can cause a widespread rash.

Workers who do their jobs outdoors in areas with wild plant growth are vulnerable to allergic contact dermatitis from poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. Not everyone is familiar with the appearance of these plants, and some are much more susceptible than others. One major problem with this kind of rash is that it typically spreads far from the original point of contact.

Occupational Acne

Some workers may be susceptible to developing occupational acne or experiencing worsening of current acne problems. This happens to a certain percentage of employees who regularly use oil and grease products. It may affect areas of the skin that get covered in these substances. Typically, those areas are the hands and arms. Existing acne on the face and neck can be aggravated when oil or grease gets on the skin.

Preventive Measures

Many workers can safely continue at the same job by wearing protective clothing like face shields and gloves and covering their arms with the right materials. Some can prevent occupational dermatitis or acne by washing the affected skin frequently. Employees also should not wear the same work clothes more than one day without washing them.

Skin Cancer

In more serious incidents, some workers develop skin cancer because of their occupation. Now they need a much larger amount of compensation, and an attorney may be necessary to negotiate the best possible settlement. Many employees notice odd lesions before the sores become malignant. If they seek a medical diagnosis at this point, they can avoid more-intensive treatment.

Unfortunately, it’s common for those lesions to be ignored because people generally have many benign skin growths and tiny areas of discoloration. They see skin tags appear along with discoloration and changes in texture from years of sun exposure. Some individuals develop pre-cancerous lesions because of regular exposure to coal tar, pitch, or arsenic.

Concluding Thoughts

An insurer that pays workers comp claims may dispute whether the skin disorder actually was connected with the employment. That is particularly likely if no other employees developed a rash or other symptom. A lawyer who handles workers compensation disputes can provide legal representation if that becomes necessary. Some men and women cannot return working at this job because their uncomfortable and unsightly skin disease becomes chronic. They may require retraining to obtain another position that pays comparably.