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What is Dermatitis?

Occupational Dermatitis is a work related disease that affects the skin. Exposure to hazardous substances may cause the skin to react and inflame and if this is found to be as a result of poor working practice you may be able to make claim for compensation under The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH).

There are two types of Dermatitis; Irritant Contact Dermatitis caused by irritants and Allergic Contact Dermatitis caused by sensitisers. It is even possible to have both forms at the same time.


Signs and symptoms of Occupational Dermatitis include;

  • Dry, chapped skin (mild symptoms).
  • Raw and irritated looking skin (more severe symptoms).
  • Redness, swelling, scaly skin, wearing away of the top layers of skin, cracks, blisters, and skin ulcers (extreme symptoms).

Occupational contact dermatitis (OCD) accounts for 1 in 5 of all occupational diseases reported in the UK. Anyone who has frequent exposure to substances that can irritate the skin or who uses strong chemicals on the job can develop occupational dermatitis. With frequent use, even substances as mild as water and detergent can irritate the skin and cause dermatitis. There are a wide range of causes relating to Occupational Dermatitis which can be seen below;

  • Different foods
  • Bleach
  • Chemicals
  • Cement
  • Paint
  • Glues

Contact dermatitis can be very similar in appearance to endogenous eczema, and it is important to assess the distribution of the skin lesions when arriving at a diagnosis. Other problems to cause confusion include psoriasis and ringworm. Pre-existing skin disease does not exclude occupational dermatitis too; indeed, it may make the individual more susceptible.

If you believe to be suffering with any of the symptoms in comparison to Occupational Dermatitis we advise you to try and seek the advice of your GP to obtain a diagnosis. However if this is not possible at present and you would like to seek more advice, please do not hesitate to contact our friendly Industrial Disease Team on 01524 505090 who will discuss with you any queries you may have and who will help you on your way to claiming that compensation in which you deserve.

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Tel: 01254 505090
Tel: 0800 205 5556

Harwood Solicitors
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Freckleton Street, Blackburn BB2 2AL

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Tel: 01254 505090
Tel: 0800 205 5556

Harwood Solicitors
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