Prevention of hand dermatoses in small catering enterprises
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Centralny Instytut Ochrony Pracy - Państwowy Instytut Badawczy / Central Institute for Labour Protection - National Research, Warszawa, Poland (Zakład Zagrożeń Chemicznych, Pyłowych i Biologicznych / Department of Chemical, Aerosol and Biological Hazards)
Wyższa Szkoła Kosmetyki i Pielęgnacji Zdrowia / Warsaw Academy of Cosmetics and Health Care, Warszawa, Poland
Corresponding author
Joanna Kurpiewska   

Zakład Zagrożeń Chemicznych, Pyłowych i Biologicznych, Centralny Instytut Ochrony Pracy – Państwowy Instytut Badawczy ul. Czerniakowska 16, 00-701 Warszawa
Med Pr 2013;64(4):521–525
Background: Work in catering and food processing is mostly performed by hands. Mechanical, thermal and chemical agents, as well as damp working conditions and frequent hand washing aggravate skin irritation. The aim of the study was to test the efficacy of hydrophobic skin protection measure at these workplaces. Materials and Methods: We recommended the prevention of contact skin disorders by using hydrophobic skin protection measure. The study was conducted in a group of 20 food service sector workers. They were interviewed about skin problems and skin protection measures. To assess the effect of the protective preparation on the skin dermatological test procedures, corneometry and sebumetry, were applied, as well as the level of transepidermal water loss (TEWL) was measured. The same survey was performed in the control group composed of 10 workers who used and 10 who did not use barrier preparation. Results: The respondents declared dryness, roughness, peeling, burning, redness, erythema of the skin. All who had applied barrier cream observed a significant improvement of the skin - hydration increased by about 30%, and lubrication of the skin - by 11 times on average. Also the level of TEWL decreased by about 25%. Conclusions: The improvement of skin conditions and reduction of skin disorders were observed confirming the effectiveness of the protection of the skin from exposure to harmful factors. Knowledge about prevention of skin diseases should be promoted among employees of catering enterprises. Med Pr 2013;64(4):521–525