Contact dermatitis


  1. Contact dermatitis is inflammation of the skin caused by direct skin contact with an irritant such as chemicals and soaps, or an allergic sensitizing agent such as latex or poison oak.
  2. Symptoms: May include itching, burning, and stinging of the skin. In addition there may be a skin rash.
  3. Plan: Treatment is provided by Employee Health Services for rashes that result from occupational exposures, such as latex, soaps, chemicals, and solvents. Non-occupational rashes such as poison oak are to be treated by the employee's personal physician.
  4. Work Status: The employee may work but the rash must be covered when he/she has contact with patients. Any employee with a rash that is suspicious for being infectious is to be referred to Employee health for a work clearance. If employee health is closed, the supervisor is to send the employee home. It is then the employee's responsibility to obtain an evaluation and work clearance from his/her personal physician.

Atopic dermatitis

  1. Atopic dermatitis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the skin characterized by itching. The cause is unknown but the following conditions may aggravate it: dry skin, perspiration, stress, and contact with certain irritants or foods.
  2. Symptoms: These may include dry thickened skin, hyperpigmentation, weeping or crusted lesions, fissures (cracks), and peeling skin.
  3. Plan: The employee should be evaluated by his/her personal physician. If the physician identifies that contact with a substance at work is aggravating the employee's underlying rash, the employee should contact employee health. Treatment is provided by employee health for exacerbations or aggravations of the symptoms caused by exposure to soaps, chemicals, or other substances at work.
  4. Work Status: The employee may work but must cover any open lesions during patient contact.

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