Prevalence of work-related adverse skin reactions to cosmetics among employees of beauty salons

Radoslaw Spiewak1,2, Agnieszka Dorynska3

  1. Department of Experimental Dermatology and Cosmetology, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland
  2. Institute of Dermatology, Krakow, Poland
  3. Department of Epidemiology and Populational Studies, Jagiellonian University Medical College, Krakow, Poland

Source: Spiewak R, Dorynska A. Czestosc wystepowania skornych reakcji niepozadanych na kosmetyki w miejscu pracy wsrod pracownikow salonow kosmetycznych. Estetol Med Kosmetol 2012; 2 (2): 54-57. (In Polish)


Adverse skin reactions to cosmetic products are common among the general population. Little is known, however, about the prevalence of such problems among beauty salon employees who are constantly exposed to cosmetic products at their workplace. Aim: To assess the prevalence of adverse skin reactions to cosmetics in relation to work among the employees of beauty salons. Material and methods: A questionnaire-based study was conducted among 90 beauty salon workers during an educational course. All the respondents were women, with median employment duration of five years (range: 1 month to 37 years). Participants were asked about having ever in life any skin problems thought to be the adverse effects of cosmetics. They additionally answered questions about the nature of their skin problems, and the history of seeking medical help in relation to these problems. Results: Twenty-six participants (29%) responded that they have experienced skin problems related to cosmetic products at their workplace. In this group, 18 (69%) stated that their skin problems ceased after discontinuing use of the suspect cosmetics. Skin problems of 17 (65%) were related exclusively or predominantly to their occupational activities. Medical help because of the skin problems was sought by 19 participants (21%), of whom 6 were referred to an occupational physician, and another 4 were advised to change their occupation. Conclusion: One in three employees of beauty salons suffers from adverse skin reactions to cosmetic products, one in five seeks medical help because of these problems, while one in ten is suspected by a doctor of having an occupational disease.

Keywords: work-related skin problem, occupational dermatitis, pruritus, cosmetologists, beauticians.

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Testing for cosmetic allergy in Krakow (Cracow), Poland

Estetologia Medyczna i Kosmetologia

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Document created: 13 March 2013, last updated: 14 March 2013.