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Hand and forearm dermatoses in veterinarians
Veterinarians are daily exposed to a variety of skin irritants and allergens. At the moment, only a few studies have addressed the occurrence of dermatoses among veterinarians. In this study from Kansas, the frequency of noninfectious hand and forearm dermatoses among Kansas veterinarians and the benefit from using gloves was evaluated.


Also the role of occupational exposures in the aggravation of such dermatoses should be estimated, the frequency and nature of infectious dermatoses among veterinarians should be determined, and patterns of glove use should be investigated. The secondary goals of this study were to collect information about the impact of skin disease on the lives and careers of veterinarians and to provide physicians with a practical approach to the treatment of veterinarians with dermatoses.

For the study, a questionnaire was mailed to all members of the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association. The response rate was 60%.

Twenty-four of respondents reported noninfectious, recurrent/persistent hand or forearm dermatoses; 66% were work related. Large animal veterinarians (P =.026) and atopics (P =.009) were more likely than their counterparts to attribute their dermatoses to work-related factors.

Thirty-eight percent of respondents had contracted at least one infectious skin disease from an animal.
Veterinarians who never or rarely use gloves during obstetric procedures were more likely to report work-related dermatoses (odds ratio, 4.25; 1.78 < OR < 10.07; P <.001) than those who use gloves.

These results suggest that veterinarians are affected frequently by infectious and noninfectious dermatoses. Improvement of barrier protection habits during obstetric procedures would likely reduce the frequency of occupational dermatoses among veterinarians.

Source: Tauscher AE, Belsito DV (2002): Frequency and etiology of hand and forearm dermatoses among veterinarians. In: Am J Contact Dermat 2002 Sep;13(3):116-24


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