Identification of the Clinical Problem.
The term “dermatitis” is used by many clinicians in a synonymous way to the term “eczema”. The term is used to describe the inflammatory reactions on the skin. The reactions are characterised by itching of the skin and redness of the parts of the skin that itch or the parts that are affected.
However, the symptoms may vary from slight levels of thickening on the outermost layer of the skin on the affected parts with small portions and fissures to extensive portions of redness, swelling and in some cases oozing (Cahill, Williams & Matheson, 2012). The condition occurs in two main ways. It may be entirely endogenous or be entirely exogenous. Exogenous dermatitis is also called contact dermatitis and is caused by irritant or allergic contact reactions of both of them.
Occupational contact dermatitis ranks among the major and the highest known and dangerous occupational diseases in many countries. It is the type of contact dermatitis in which the inflammatory reactions that causes itching and reddening is entirely caused by occupational contact or where such reactions and contacts are in a way responsible for contributing to the itching and reddening on the affected skin. Majorly, occupational contact dermatitis affects the hands of the patients. However, with time, the condition may be transferred to the other parts of the body such as the forearms (American Contact Dermatitis Society., & North American Contact Dermatitis Group, 2014). The condition accounts for more than 60% of all the skin infections and disease that are reported and which in turn causes or leads to an approximate 40-70% of all the illnesses that are acquired through professional means and methods. According to Cherry,Meyer,Adiseshet al. (2009), the incident rate of the contact condition is believed to range between 0.5 to 1.9 cases per a population of 1000 full time employees per year.
While many people, including children are often affected by skin diseases and infections, occupational contact dermatitis should be suspected depending on the location affected by the illness. If the area affected is the hands, then contact dermatitis should be the first disease suspected. Three characteristics and factors should be considered to identify the causal incident. If the area affected is the hands and the exposed skin, the condition improves when far from the workplace and then reoccurs or relapses back on return to the work environment and if numerous individuals are affected in the same working environment or handling or coming into contact with some particular object, then occupational contact dermatitis should be the first suspected illness.
Dermatitis is considered occupational if it is caused by coming into contact with a specific object of machinery at the workplace. It is called contact dermatitis because it involves the individuals getting into contact with the objects or the machines. The illness is not very dangerous if treated early. However, if ignored or not treated in a timely manner, it can lead to long term consequences on the affected individuals and in the extreme cases may lead to their abilities to work being challenged. According to Cahill, Williams & Matheson, (2012), if one of the employees in a company is affected by the disease, upto 50% of the employees in the company may be affected and may be showing signs even after 10 years with the condition (American Contact Dermatitis Society., & North American Contact Dermatitis Group, 2014).
Identification of the Clinical Problem
Occupational contact dermatitis is a major challenge to the working force in the world today. According to Nicholson, Llewellyn, English (2010), occupational contact dermatitis is responsible for over 95% of the skin diseases and infections in the world. However, on a national scales, occupational contact dermatitis has more major and vital challenges and problems. It leads to financial implications in terms of the costs involved in the medical treatment, absence of the employees from work leading to reduced productivity in the workplace, compensations from the social welfare organizations and the possible claims by the civil servants and non-governmental organizations (American Contact Dermatitis Society., & North American Contact Dermatitis Group, 2014). The disease brings other costs to the workers in terms of pain, sufferings and the inability for the employees to work.
What is disturbing about the state of the illness is that even with the many challenges and costs involved in the treatment, very few organizations invest to ensure the safety of their employees from the disease. Very few researches have been done on the field to identify and come up with means to deal with the challenge. Moreover, the study of dermatitis is uncommon and very few employees actually have any information about the condition and how it may be prevented (Frosch, Menne´ &Lepoittevin, 2012). This research project is aimed at understanding the prevalence of the disease among the working population, the awareness of the employees and how to manage the condition and how the organizations and companies may assist their employees to prevent an outbreak of such an illness and how to deal with the disease to prevent the infection of other employees in the company (Cahill, Williams & Matheson, 2012). The research aims to add to the existing literature information that is relevant for the management of the condition and on understanding the disease in a more elaborate manner.
Significant of the Problem