High prevalence of skin symptoms among bakery workers

Steiner, M F C, Dick, F D, Scaife, A R, Semple, S, Paudyal, P and Ayres, J G (2011) High prevalence of skin symptoms among bakery workers. Occupational Medicine, 61 (4). pp. 280-282. ISSN 0962-7480

[img] PDF - Published Version
Restricted to SRO admin only

Download (47kB)


Background Occupational skin disease is common and bakery workers are at increased risk of hand dermatitis.
Aims To explore the frequency of, and to identify risk factors for, skin symptoms in a small bakery.
Methods A cross-sectional survey of workers in a small bakery in Scotland, using a self-completed questionnaire
regarding skin symptoms over the last 12 months. Additionally, data on self-reported atopy status,
glove use and daily hand washing frequencies were obtained. Workers were classed as being at
low, medium or high risk of occupational skin disease based on their job titles.
Results The overall response rate was 85% (52 women, 41 men) with a mean age of 41 (range 17–72). Eleven
per cent of bakers, confectioners and packers and 31% of cleaners, cooks and food production workers
reported at least one skin symptom. Thirty-three per cent of symptomatic low-risk workers, 50% of
symptomatic medium-risk workers and 75% of symptomatic high-risk workers stated their symptoms
usually improved away from work. While washing hands more frequently than 20 times a day had an
increased risk of skin symptoms, this was not significant [OR 3.5 (95% CI 0.9–13.2)].
Conclusions There was a high prevalence of skin symptoms among these bakery workers which was more than
double that previously reported in UK bakeries. Frequent washing of hands as a risk factor for skin
symptoms may warrant further investigation in bakery workers.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Division of Medical Education
Subjects: R Medicine
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Depositing User: Tom Marshall
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2014 10:02
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2017 09:57
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/49453

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update