The skin is a cover that wraps our whole body, acting as a protective barrier, isolating the organism from the environment around us, protecting it and helping to maintain intact its structures while acting as a system of communication with the environment. Here are the functions of the skin:
Protection against various pollutants:
Chemicals: A number of organic and inorganic chemicals stand out. Mainly the effects are due to direct contact between the pollutant and the skin, but it can also happen that the adverse effects may come from contact of aerosols on the skin or through the scalp.
Physicists: heat, cold and ionizing radiation.
Biological, among which are viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites responsible for skin infections. As well as different products of vegetate or animal origin capable of causing irritation and / or sensitization of the same.
Sensory: perception of cold, heat, pain, etc.
Thermos regulator: preserving body temperature and avoiding dehydration.
Detergent: the continuous defamation of the horny layer drags the surface contamination.
Metabolic: formation of vitamin D.
The aggression that can be suffered by the skin, are known as dermatitis , and can be caused by a variety of contaminants, producing from a simple redness to more severe processes, sometimes it is difficult to establish a clear relation with the specific lesions.
On the other hand it is necessary to take into account certain characteristics of the skin, that can favor the development of a dermatitis:
Photo: Long Mai Clear skin is more susceptible to the actions of ultraviolet radiation and the action of some chemical irritants.
Dry skin has less resistance to friction.
Excessively oily skin is more conducive to developing infections, folliculitis, acne, etc. However, it has a higher solvent tolerance (tupertin or trichlorethylene).
The tendency to sweat excessively favors, the appearance of heat rashes.
Other forms that favor a dermatitis: Photo: Matches
Poor personal hygiene.
The existence of other diseases.
Any injury that breaks the integrity of the skin contributes to the appearance of a dermatitis.
Dermatitis is called a professional skin alteration caused, favored or worsened by the work environment. This type of dermatitis has to be included in Royal Decree 1299/2006, which approves the table of occupational diseases in the Social Security system.
Photo: Cesar HaradaIn industrialized countries, occupational dermatoses are the leading cause of occupational diseases.
The following are activities that present risks with respect to alterations in the skin:
Construction industry: handling cement, alkyltran, coal, alkaline, etc.
Footwear industry: glues or adhesives (resins).
In agriculture: work with chemical products, harvesting of agricultural products, forestry work, etc.
Food industry: bakers and bakers, (powder and additives of wheat flour), etc.
Health Professions and Pharmaceutical Industry.
Plastic workers: automobile industry, aviation industry, electricity, etc.
Veterinarians and herdsmen: for wool, sheep and goat skins.
Metallurgy: chromium, cobalt, nickel, cutting fluids and antioxidants.
Other professions: painters, textile manufacturing, hairdressers.
Within professional dermatitis, the most frequent is the contact generated, once the sensitization has occurred, there must be a certain amount of substance and a time of exposure, to cause a reaction on the skin.
The professional contact dermatitis presents two large groups: allergic and irritate.
Allergic dermatoses , produced by allergens, are treated with substances, which can induce a hypersensitivity reaction (allergic) in people who are genetically susceptible. Allergic dermatoses have a percentage of 20% over the total contact dermatitis.
Irritant dermatoses are a consequence of non-corrosive substances and preparations that in brief contact with the skin or mucous membranes can provoke an inflammatory reaction, this type of alteration corresponds to 80%.
The symptoms of professional dermatitis, begin with an inflammation of the area and with the formation of vesicles that can cause itching, is diagnosed following guidelines, the first is to perform a clinical-labor history, reflecting the personal history and Family, leisure, etc., then a thorough physical examination of the patient is performed and relevant laboratory tests are performed,This type of tests consist of placing patches containing the suspect substances on the skin and watching for any lesions.
Once the substances that cause professional dermatitis have been identified, preventive measures are established, which may be collective or individual protection.
It prioritizes the use of collective protection, as opposed to the individual, since the former is more effective, because it has a greater possibility of control. Individual protection will be used as a last resort.
Within the preventive measures of collective protection, it is necessary to emphasize:
Use in closed circuit of substances with high aggressive capacity.
Substitution for other less harmful substances.
Ventilation and localized aspiration.
General cleaning of the workstation.
Automation of production processes.
To have toilets and showers, since the personal hygiene is essential for an effective prevention, being necessary to use neutral soaps.
As an individual preventive measure, the following individual protection equipment is available:
Work clothes, aprons, hat, gloves and boots.
Use of protection creams and aerosols, indicated for the dermal lesions produced by irritants, and are also indicated for a better cleaning of the skin after the end of the working day.
In conclusion, in order to prevent occupational dermatoses, the employer must ensure that those who work are adequately trained and informed of the risks arising from the handling of pollutants and that the necessary prevention and protection measures are taken; In particular, on the correct handling of harmful substances to which employees are exposed, by means of safety procedures.