Introduction Occupational dermatitis among cement workers is a major occupational health concern and skin contact with cement has been associated with contact dermatitis, which ranges from cement burns to cumulative irritant contact dermatitis. The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence and severity of occupational cement contact dermatitis amongst cement workers in Nepal which is the first of its kind.
Methods This was a cross sectional descriptive study conducted amongst the workers in construction sites and hardware shops within the Kathmandu valley. A structured questionnaire was used to collect the demographic data and work-related activities of those cement workers. A complete skin examination was conducted and skin manifestations were assessed by a dermatologist. The data collected was compiled and appropriate statistical tools were used to find out the significance of variables.
Result Out of the 377 workers screened 164 (43.50%) had hand contact dermatitis. There were males 148 (90.2%) and females16 (9.8%) and the age ranged from 15–51 years (mean 27.41±7.68 years).The duration of the disease ranged from 1–360 months (median36months (IQR=60).The most common site of lesion was palms (62.8%) followed by tip of the fingers in 39.0% patients and the most common morphology of the lesion was erythema seen in 59.1% followed by scaling seen in 51.8% patients.
Discussion Contact and irritant hand eczema amongst cement workers in Nepal has a considerable morbidity. Identification of these workers with adequate treatment, test of the suspected allergens and counselling could further help the workers. This study helped us to assess the magnitude of the problem and since it is a cross sectional survey, further research can be planned to see the allergens amongst the persons suspicious of contact dermatitis amongst the cement workers.
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