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Oil dermatitis: an enquiry into its prognosis
  1. M. L. Johnson,
  2. H. T. H. Wilson
  1. 1Central Middlesex Hospital, Park Royal, London NW10


    Johnson, M. L., and Wilson, H. T. H. (1971).Brit. J. industr. Med.,28, 122-125. Oil dermatitis: an enquiry into its prognosis. One hundred industrial workers who developed skin disease while working with soluble or cutting oils were seen. Between 6 and 13 years later 87 of these cases were contacted and their subsequent histories obtained. Of these, 42 had oil dermatitis, 10 had oil dermatitis and constitutional eczema, and 17 had constitutional eczema alone. The remainder were suffering from dermatitis other than oil or from folliculitis or could not be classified.

    The groups with oil dermatitis and oil dermatitis and associated constitutional eczema had a similar outcome; 60% were clear, 23% better, and 17% unchanged, whereas of the group with constitutional eczema only 35% had cleared with 41% better and 24% unchanged. Of the cases with oil dermatitis 82% had changed their job. Those with mild oil dermatitis who had not lost work had the best prognosis. Of other factors that might influence prognosis there was no direct correlation with the length of time off work, the age of onset or the payment of compensation. However, if the worker continued to be exposed to oil for more than one year after the onset of the dermatitis the chances of subsequent clearing were less than if the exposure was shorter.

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