Out of 923 female dental nurses in the Helsinki district, 799 were interviewed using a computer-assisted telephone interview. A structured questionnaire was used to inquire about skin, respiratory symptoms, atopy, work history and methods, and exposure at work. The 328 nurses, who reported work-related dermatitis on their hands, forearms or face, were invited to an interview by an occupational physician; 245 nurses participated. 31 nurses had previously been diagnosed with an occupational skin disease (OSD). 133 nurses with a suspected OSD were selected for further clinical examinations with prick and patch testing. Among the 107 nurses examined, 22 new cases of OSD were diagnosed. There were altogether 29 cases of allergic contact dermatitis, 15 of contact urticaria, 12 of irritant contact dermatitis, and 1 case of onychomycosis. Rubber chemicals and natural rubber latex (NRL) in protective gloves, as well as dental-restorative plastic materials [(meth)acrylates], were the most common causes of allergy. 42% of the OSD cases in the studied population had been missing from the statistics (Finnish Register of Occupational Diseases). Plastic gloves or NRL gloves with a low-protein content are recommended for dental work. Skin exposure to (meth)acrylates should be avoided.