Self-reported hand dermatitis in California veterinarians

Päivikki Susitaival, John Kirk, Marc B Schenker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background: Veterinarians are exposed to allergens, dirt, and chemicals, but there are very few epidemiologic data on dermatoses veterinarians. Objective: The aim of this study is to get information about skin diseases in veterinary work. Methods: A sample of California veterinarians were sent a questionnaire, which was returned by 73% (n = 1,416). Results: History of skin atopy was reported by 11% and respiratory atopy by 63%. Dermatoses during their career were reported by 46%, and hand and/or forearm dermatitis was reported more than once and during the past year by 22% of women and 10% of men. Dermatitis with work-related exacerbating factors was reported by 28%. Almost 1 of 5 veterinarians reported animal-related skin symptoms. Other aggravators were medications (2%), gloves (4%), and other chemicals (7% of respondents). Of those with animal-related dermatitis, 65% reported only 1 animal (dog, 66%*cat, 29%*horse, 9%*and cattle, 8%), and 66% reported the symptoms appeared in minutes after the contact. In logistic analysis, the risk factors for the appearance of hand/forearm dermatitis during the past 12 months and more than once during their career, were: history of skin atopy (odds ratio, 3.5), childhood hand dermatitis (odds ratio, 3.4), history of respiratory atopy (odds ratio, 2.0), and female sex (odds ratio, 1.9). Conclusions: Veterinarians' skin symptoms were common and often caused by immediate allergy to 1 or few animal species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-108
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Contact Dermatitis
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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