BACKGROUND: Hand eczema is a skin disease often with a long-lasting and relapsing course. The long-term prognosis in the general population is unknown. OBJECTIVES: The aims were to examine the extent to which hand eczema had persisted and the medicosocial consequences of the disease. METHODS: In a 15-year follow-up of hand eczema, patients diagnosed in a previous population-based study were sent a questionnaire with 20 questions concerning the persistence and course of the disease, and its occupational and medicosocial consequences. RESULTS: Addresses were available for 1115 persons, of whom 868 answered the questionnaire. Sixty-six per cent of the respondents reported periods of hand eczema and 44% reported symptoms during the previous year, with no sex difference. Twelve per cent reported continuous eczema. However, 74% of those reporting symptoms considered that their hand eczema had improved; of these more were women than men (78% vs. 66%, P
In a population-based survey of public health issues in Stockholm, Sweden, self-reported hand eczema, history of childhood eczema, nickel allergy, occurrence of skin symptoms on the face and intolerance to cosmetics and hygiene products, were investigated. A postal questionnaire was sent to 15,000 inhabitants aged 19-80 years. The response rate was 73%. The 1-year prevalence of hand eczema was 8% (females 10%, males 6%). History of childhood eczema was reported by 15% and, of these, 42% also stated positively that they had had hand eczema at some time. Hypersensitivity to nickel was owned to 15% of the females and 3% of the males. Of the nickel-sensitive, 30% reported ever having had hand eczema. The combination of nickel allergy and history of childhood eczema resulted in a cumulative prevalence of hand eczema of 56%. Females reported more hand-washings per day than did males, and a relation between number of hand-washings and hand eczema was found. Self-reported 1-year prevalence of skin symptoms on the face was 14% and, of these, 33% also owned to hypersensitivity to cosmetics. Dermatitis appears to be a common health problem. This fact should be made clear to those who give priority and allocate resources to health problems, e.g., by participation of dermatologists in performing population-based surveys.
BACKGROUND: During the 1980s routine wearing of gloves in dentistry was recommended by health authorities in several countries. However, prolonged glove use is associated with side-effects of irritant and allergic origin. OBJECTIVES: To investigate the extent of glove use and self-reported glove intolerance reactions among Swedish dentists, and to examine how far IgE-mediated allergy to natural rubber latex (NRL) occurs in subjects who report rapid itching when in contact with protective gloves. SUBJECTS/METHODS: A postal questionnaire was answered by 3083 of 3500 licensed dentists, a response rate of 88%. Of the dentists who reported rapidly occurring itching of the hands from gloves, 131 of 170 attended a clinical examination including a skin prick test (SPT) and a serological examination (RAST) for IgE-mediated allergy. RESULTS: Seventy-three per cent of the dentists reported daily glove use of more than 2 h, 48% more than 6 h a day, and 6% reported no use. NRL gloves were used most frequently (P
Skin exposure to water is considered to contribute to hand eczema. Knowledge about total water exposure during a day is scanty.
To investigate self-reported water exposure at work as well as throughout the day.
Skin exposure to water was assessed from two questionnaire-based health surveys: the nationwide Environmental Health Survey 2007 (EHS), which enquired about water exposure throughout the day, and the Stockholm Public Health Survey 2006 (PHS), which probed water exposure at work. Answers from 19,667 individuals (EHS) and 18,318 individuals (PHS) were available for analysis.
In total, 22% of respondents (women 30%, men 12%) reported skin exposure to water more than 20 times during an entire day (EHS) compared with 6% (women 8%, men 4%) at work (PHS). In a univariate analysis, using a merged file comprising data from the EHS and the PHS, water exposure more than 20 times a day was more common in the EHS (prevalence proportion ratio 3·570, 95% confidence interval 3·353-3·802). In multivariate models the variables studied did not fulfil the criteria for being confounders. Water exposure at work declined with increasing age in both women and men (P