• Occupational Health
Young woman with problem skin looking into mirror.
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Peninsula Group, HR and Health & Safety Experts

(Last updated )

Dermatitis advice guide for employers from Peninsula Business Services UK. Employers call us today on 0800 0282 420.

What is dermatitis?

Dermatitis is a skin condition caused by contact with something that irritates the skin or causes an allergic reaction. It usually occurs where the irritant touches the skin, but not always.

What are the symptoms of dermatitis?

The physical symptoms of dermatitis include:

  • Redness.
  • Scaling.
  • Flaking.
  • Blistering.
  • Weeping.
  • Cracking or swelling.

The symptoms may be accompanied by itching and pain. The symptoms can be so bad that the sufferer is unable to work.

What are the different types of dermatitis?

There are three main types of dermatitis; irritant contact dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis and contact urticaria. Let's explore them in more detail.

Irritant contact dermatitis

Irritant contact dermatitis can occur soon after contact with a strong irritant, or over a longer period from repeated contact with weaker irritants. These irritants can be:

  • Chemical.
  • Biological.
  • Mechanical.
  • Physical.

Allergic contact dermatitis

Allergic contact dermatitis occurs when the sufferer develops an allergy to a substance. ‘Sensitisation’ is likely to be permanent and further skin contact with that substance will lead to another episode of dermatitis.

Urticaria contact dermatitis

Urticaria is an acute reaction which occurs within minutes of a sensitizing material, organic or inorganic, touching the skin. The rash usually disappears within a few hours and in most cases it has completely gone within twenty-four hours.

What materials cause dermatitis?

Materials which commonly cause dermatitis include: solvents, oils, soaps, detergents, bleach, hairdressing and beauty products, rubber, latex, and plants.  

What is the best treatment for dermatitis?

Detected and treated in its early stages dermatitis can be arrested and good recovery made. However, failure to seek early advice and treatment can lead to severe long term skin problems and sensitivity to a wide range of substances.

Get expert advice on dermatitis from Peninsula

Peninsula offers expert advice on dermatitis at work. Our teams offer 24/7 HR advice which is available 365 days a year. We take care of everything when you work with our HR experts.

Want to find out more? Contact us on 0800 028 2420 and book a free consultation with an HR consultant today.

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