January 2007 News - Dermatitis
One of the main causes of dermatitis is wet working. You and your team are more at risk of developing it if you have your hands in contact with water for long periods of time in a day, over 2 hours for example. Or if your hands are wet several times a day, say if you shampoo 10 clients a day or more. This is why staff that spend their time doing a lot of the washing are more at risk.
The other main cause of dermatitis is contact with the chemicals in hairdressing products, when shampooing, colouring or bleaching, or in the products you use for cleaning up.
There are several ways that your hands can come into contact with water and products:
- Washing/shampooing/colouring hair with bare hands
- Handling equipment soaked in chemicals
- Touching contaminated clothing, tools or containers
- Splashing chemicals on to your skin when mixing or handling them
- Aerosols and dust landing on your skin and on surfaces that you might touch
What You Should Know
- Up to 70% of hairdressers suffer some form of skin damage
- Hairdressers are 17 times more likely to develop dermatitis than any other group of workers
- Dermatitis is caused by contact with chemicals present in hairdressing products and prolonged contact with water
- Dermatitis causes personal suffering
- Dermatitis is unsightly and unpleasant
- You can help prevent it - encourage your hairdressers / apprentices / students to look after their hands by wearing non-latex gloves, drying hands thoroughly and using moisturiser regularly
- Overall, dermatitis is bad for business - cost of sickness absence, staff turnover and loss of clients, risk of legal action
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