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Contact Dermatitis is the usual condition in which due to irritation of the skin with chemicals, water, detergents there is a horny change in the layer of the skin


No, it is not just stress that one picks up at the workplace. Apart from injuries, skin diseases are the second commonest ones that one manages to get entangled as an occupational hazard. It is nothing but the skin of an individual getting in touch w ith a hazardous agent either physical, biological, chemical or a mechanical force which is inimical to the health and integrity of the skin. As such a person already suffering from a skin condition is prone to aggravation of existing complaints but do get classed under occupational skin diseases.

Whether it is the farmers working in earth mounds and sprinkling fertilizers and pesticides or people working in catering and food processing industry with treatment of food products during various stages, personnel of construction and engineering involved with cement or the cosmetic industry like hairdressers being exposed to various “rejuvenating” potions and creams, healthcare professionals working with reagents not to speak of chemists all professions involve varying degree of work with different types of chemicals which can take a toll on the skin biology. It is only accentuated in people working in printing, metal plating, leather work etc. where the usage of organic compounds is high. For that matter water and exposure to soaps, detergents, household cleaning agents etc. are equally deleterious in causing damage to the skin. Skin comes into contact with chemicals by immersing hands into the liquids, direct handling of contaminated pieces and surfaces, splashing when mixed or handled and through deposits in the air and when the probability of its effect occurs.

Contact Dermatitis is the usual condition in which due to irritation of the skin with chemicals, water, detergents etc. there is a horny change in the layer of the skin while the skin oils, moisture are sloughed off the surface thereby decreasing the protective action. The affected area appears red, swollen, blistery and cracked with tendency to itching which is the most troublesome and there is rawness, pus formation due to scratching. But in spite of the irritant being avoided the skin remains affected it means there is an allergic response which is bound to last longer. The affected area is remains dry and dark when compared to surrounding areas. Homeopathic medicines like Merc sol are useful when rawness and itching are troublesome and if dryness is predominant Sarsaparilla helps. If sensitivity is the root cause of allergy sustaining the skin to remain the same, Thuja, Sulphur, Psorinum have been of great help.

There is also an appearance of a red, raised rash with apparent swelling which could last for an hour to about 24 hours called as urticaria and is also a sign of sensitivity. This is a reaction of immediate contact. Rhus tox, Apis mel, Urtica urens are few remedies which remedy the unusual response of the skin.

If the chemical is of an oily nature it tends to block the sebaceous glands in the lining of the skin can cause acne or blotchy, pimple like eruptions which could get secondarily infected too and appear with pus. Hepar sulph, Silicea help clear the infection and remedies like Anthracinum, Carbo animalis help steer away from the formation of similar eruptions.

Some chemicals over a period of time too have been found to loss of pigmentation of the skin cells appearing as pale, discolored spots. Natrum mur, Sepia help in restoration of skin to its almost natural pigment.

Though not very common, radiation and unrefined oils have sometimes produced type of skin cancer too. Homeopathic medicine when administered according to the sensitivities of the person can help in preventing such eventualities. To keep at bay the corrosive action of the exposure to chemical and decrease the unusual immune response to allergens homoeopathic medicine is at its best.

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