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Occupation-Related Symptoms in Hairdressers

Piapan, Linda, MD; Baldo, Jacopo, MD; Larese Filon, Francesca, MD

doi: 10.1097/DER.0000000000000450

Background During work, hairdressers are exposed to several hazardous agents that can cause skin and respiratory symptoms. Because few data are available for long-term follow-up, and none are from Italy, the aim of our study was to investigate occupational symptoms in hairdressers after a 10-year follow-up.

Methods Work-related skin and respiratory symptoms were investigated in 2006 and 2016 by means of a standardized questionnaire and medical examination.

Results Eighty-two workers completed the 10-year follow-up with a response rate of 86.3%. At follow-up, skin- and respiratory work–related symptoms had increased significantly, involving 40.7% of workers. Skin symptoms increased to 12.5%, throat irritation to 15.6%, and cough to 12.5%. The occurrence of the symptom of skin irritation was significantly related to dryness of the skin at the baseline.

Conclusions Our long-term follow-up on hairdressers demonstrated an increase in work-related irritant skin and upper respiratory symptoms that involved more than one-third of the population studied. More efforts are needed in prevention activities to promote better ventilation of workplaces, use of less irritating and less sensitizing hair products, and use of moisturizers to prevent dry skin.

From the Unit of Occupational Medicine, University of Trieste, Italy.

Address reprint requests to: Francesca Larese Filon, MD, University of Trieste, UCO Medicina del Lavoro, Via della Pietà 2/2, 34129 Trieste, Italy. E-mail:

The authors have no funding or conflicts of interest to declare.

© 2019 American Contact Dermatitis Society
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