Occupational skin diseases in Czech healthcare workers from 1997 to 2009
Background The healthcare sector ranked in second place among economic sectors in the CzechRepublic, with about 11.4 % of all occupational diseases in 2009. Skin diseases constituted about 20 % of all occupational diseases.
Objectives The aim of this study was to analyze the causes and trends in allergic and irritant-induced skin diseases in the healthcare sector.
Methods The data concerning occupational skin diseases (Chapter IV of the Czech List of Occupational Diseases, non-infectious skin illnesses) in the healthcare sector were analyzed from the Czech National Registry of Occupational Diseases from 1997 until 2009. The trends in the total counts and most frequent causes were evaluated.
Results During the past 13 years, a total of 545 skin diseases were acknowledged in healthcare workers. Allergic contact dermatitis was diagnosed in 464 (85 %), irritant contact dermatitis in 71 (13 %) and contact urticaria in 10 subjects (2 %). Ninety-five percent of the patients were females. The overall incidence in individual years varied between 1.0 and 2.9 cases per 10,000 full-time employees per year. Disinfectants were the most frequent chemical agents causing more than one third of all allergic skin diseases (38 %), followed by rubber components (32 %) and cleaning agents (10 %).
Conclusion A general downward trend of diagnosed cases of occupational skin diseases in heath care workers in the Czech Republic over the past 13 years was demonstrated.