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What Does Dermatosis Mean?

Dermatosis is a broad category that includes any skin condition that does not result in inflammation.

Dermatosis can manifest as rashes, lesions, pustules, plaque, or other symptoms. It can affect any or all the skin layers: the epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis.

Some workplaces have a higher risk of dermatosis due to the presence of irritants and other substances that can cause harm to the skin.

Safeopedia Explains Dermatosis

Dermatosis is not to be confused with dermatitis. Dermatosis refers to any irregularity or lesion of the skin, while dermatitis is a skin condition that causes skin inflammation, such as eczema.

Common Types of Dermatosis

Dermatosis is a broad term that includes a variety of conditions, such as:

  • Acne - Caused by bacteria clogging pores on the skin.
  • Impetigo – Itchy sores that can crust over. Impetigo is caused by bacteria and can spread through skin-to-skin contact.
  • Alopecia Areata – A condition that causes hair to fall out in patches, and can affect the scalp, face, and underarms.
  • Ichthyosis – A group of skin conditions that result in dry, scaly, reddened skin that is rough and itchy.
  • Lupus – An autoimmune disease that creates a butterfly rash on the face and may cause sores, thick scaly patches, and rashes. It can also affect the joints and lungs.
  • Psoriasis – An autoimmune disease that causes itchy, thick, silvery-white plaques on the skin. It happens when the fast regeneration of the skin causes dead skin cells to accumulate on the skin rather than flaking off.
  • Vitiligo – A disease that causes patches of skin to lose their color or pigment.
  • Skin Cancer – Including basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, and melanoma, which is the most serious type of skin cancer and requires immediate treatment.

Causes of Dermatosis

Since it encompasses a variety of distinct conditions, dermatosis also has a number of different causes, some of which are not yet known or fully understood. Common causes of dermatosis include:

  • Bacteria – Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes, which can cause impetigo
  • Fungus – Tinea fungus can cause athlete’s foot skin infection
  • Genetics – Individuals with the gene HLA-DR4 are more susceptible to dermatosis
  • Autoimmune Disorders – An immune system that attacks itself can result in skin conditions like vitiligo, alopecia areata and lupus

Causes of Occupational Dermatosis

Occupational dermatosis is any kind of dermatosis that results from exposures experienced on the job. In many cases, it results from exposure to chemicals that are irritating or allergenic. In some cases, occupational dermatosis subsides or disappears during vacations, due to the break in contact with the agents that cause irritation or allergy.

The best way to avoid developing occupational dermatitis is to simply stay away from the chemical agent that causes it. When this is not possible, using proper personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, masks, and coveralls can reduce exposure. Regularly washing hands when dealing with chemicals and applying an insulating barrier cream before and during work can also reduce the risk of developing occupational dermatosis.


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