Photoallergic Contact Dermatitis

Last updated: September 2, 2018

What Does Photoallergic Contact Dermatitis Mean?

Photoallergic contact dermatitis is the most common occupational skin disease. It manifests as visible rashes where the skin has been exposed to a combination of an allergen and ultraviolet light (mostly UVA).

An occupational cause is to be suspected when the rash occurs in areas that are in contact with oil, grease, or other substances. Direct skin testing (patch or scratch) or radioallergosorbent testing can be used to identify a specific trigger. As a result, skin cancer can have an occupational link in workers with continuous exposure to sunlight and specific chemicals.

Safeopedia Explains Photoallergic Contact Dermatitis

Photoallergic contact dermatitis is an inflammatory rash characterized by itching and redness. Dermatitis has many causes, which can include contact with skin irritants, such as physical, chemical, and biologic agents.

As an occupational skin disease, it affects workers across age groups and industries.But workers in certain occupation are at a higher risk. Those who work in manufacturing, construction, machine operation, and food production are at an especially elevated risk.

As an allergic response, it causes inflammation of the skin in the sun-exposed areas that usually resemble eczema and is generally long-lasting. Photoallergic Contact Dermatitis is affected by general work conditions (e.g., heat, humidity) and specific activities on the job that involve skin contact with potential hazards.

Presence of skin diseases in fellow workers is a contributing factor for the spread of this condition. The most effective way to prevent exposure is to promote hygiene, both personal and as a feature of the workplace.

Common photoallergic agents include sunscreens, nickel, antibacterial agents such as chlorhexidine, and drugs such as chlorpromazine and promethazine. The rash shows signs of improvement on removal of the offending agent.


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