Nurse Wins Compensation For Contact Dermatitis
A nurse working at Wythenshaw Hospital has won £9000, after developing hand dermatitis due to her employment.
While registered a general nurse, our client developed dermatitis on her hands. She had previously suffered from a pre-existing hand condition, but she was then diagnosed with occupational hand dermatitis as a result of the excessive hand washing and use of alcohol hand gel that was needed for her job.
Read more about the recent increase in dermatitis for health and social care workers
What is dermatitis?
Contact dermatitis is a form of eczema that is triggered when your skin comes into contact with a particular type of substance, often on a frequent basis. Contact dermatitis usually improves or clears up completely if the substance causing the problem is identified and avoided, but it can be difficult to do this if your occupational involves you having to come into contact with the substance regularly. Treatments can be available to help ease the symptoms, such as emollients that can moisture the area. In more serious cases, topical corticosteroids can be applied to the skin to relieve severe symptoms. The symptoms of contact dermatitis include skin that is itchy, blistered, dry and cracked. Lighter skin can become red, and darker skin can become dark brown, purple or grey. This reaction usually occurs within a few hours or days of exposure to the particular irritant or allergen. Symptoms most commonly affect the hands and the face. The best way to avoid contact dermatitis is to avoid the irritant as much as possible. In the case of our client, and often the case for many workers, it is impossible to completely avoid the cause of the dermatitis. If you cannot avoid contact, there are some steps that you can take in order to reduce the risk of the allergens or irritants causing symptoms. These include:
- Cleaning your skin as soon as you come into contact with the irritant, and then using an emollient as soon as possible.
- Using gloves to protect your hands, although it is worth noting that rubber gloves can worse the symptoms if you are sweating. In some cases, cotton gloves should be worn under rubber gloves.
- Changing products that irritate your skin – if this is possible
- Applying emollients frequently and in large amounts – these keep your skin hydrated and help protect it from allergens and irritants; you could also use an emollient soap.
When you have been affected by contact dermatitis at work, it is difficult to be able to protect yourself completely if your employer does not provide the appropriate protection. Figures have shown that, in workers who have developed occupational dermatitis, 50% of affected workers will still have some skin problems after 10 years from when their condition first occurred. Because of this, it is important to pinpoint the way in which your employer can help you to protect yourself. If they are failing to do this, then you can make a compensation claim against them.
Read more about occupational dermatitis claims
In this case, our client won £9000 after our specialist solicitor Charlotte Davies put together a strong case to find that she had not been sufficiently protected in her workplace.
If you believe that you may have been similarly affected, then get in touch today for help and advice.Get in touch