OBJECTIVES: Occupational skin disease (OSD) arises from work-related activity. However, there is a paucity of literature on OSD in physicians. The aim of the this review was therefore to examine and summarize what types of symptomatic OSD physicians experience.
METHODS: We conducted a systematic literature search on Cochrane Library, Embase, and Pubmed.
RESULTS: Contact dermatitis from formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde were found in 11.5 and 13.5% of cases, respectively. In total 2.4-14.9% had latex allergy. The reported standardized incidence ratio of squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma was up to 2.15 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.57-1.95] and 3.2 (95% CI 1.38-6.31). Transmission of human papilloma virus (HPV) particles during carbon dioxide laser wart ablation were found in 70% of samples collected from protective gloves and in 52% of samples from vapors.
CONCLUSIONS: The most frequently reported OSD in physicians is contact dermatitis from allergens in disinfectants and rubber gloves. There is also a risk of cutaneous reactions to latex. The incidence of skin cancer was higher in physicians than in the general population, and the reason for this remains unexplained and potentially biased. There are no reports of transmission of patient HPV to surgeons during wart ablation, possibly because of proper use of protective equipment.