Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a painful skin disorder with symptoms that may impair a person’s ability to work, or in the worst cases, prevent them from working altogether. By claiming compensation, you can cover the cost of medical treatment and any wages lost due to time out of work during your recovery, as well as securing recompense for the pain and suffering this condition has caused you.

If you think your employer was negligent and this resulted in you contracting dermatitis or another skin disorder, contact our team today to discuss making a claim. JMW is highly experienced in helping people who have suffered due to poor working conditions gain the compensation they deserve.

For expert advice and to discuss your claim, speak to our team today on 0800 054 6570. Alternatively, complete our online contact form and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 

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Contact Dermatitis Explained

Contact dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin that occurs when the skin is irritated by a substance, usually a chemical or something similar. Those most at risk include people who work in the cleaning industry, manufacturing industry or the production of plastics and other products.

What seems a simple and manageable condition on the surface can be incredibly debilitating. If you are affected by contact dermatitis, you may find you suffer with daily pain and have difficulty undertaking your job.  It may even mean that you can no longer work in the same role.

Speaking to a specialist solicitor with extensive knowledge of the issues surrounding contact dermatitis, such as those at JMW, is vital. We are familiar with the difficulties that contact dermatitis can throw up and will work hard to provide you with the tools to help reduce the effects that this disease can have on your life.

If you have developed contact dermatitis as a result of coming into contact with chemicals in your workplace, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Your compensation could be used to cover anything from lost earnings to the cost of medical care and to cover household bills.

What Causes Contact Dermatitis?

Contact dermatitis is caused by an irritant to the skin. Irritants can take many forms, from antibacterials, solvents and chemicals, to detergents and acids.  Dust, cement and other construction powders are also known skin irritants.  You may be exposed to any of these in the course of your work, and, if your skin isn’t properly protected, exposure may lead to you developing contact dermatitis.

What Are the Symptoms of Contact Dermatitis?

The symptoms of contact dermatitis can be seen and felt on the skin. The severity of symptoms can vary from mild to very painful, depending on the individual’s level of exposure and susceptibility to forming a reaction to the irritant. 

There are a number of symptoms you may develop that can indicate you’ve contracted contact dermatitis, including skin itching, dryness, burning and stinging.  In worse cases, your skin may also crack and develop blisters, or simply become redder.

If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Who Is at Risk of Contact Dermatitis?

Individuals whose occupations involve contact with chemical products (such as soaps, antibacterials, solvents, oils, acids, etc.) are most at risk of suffering from contact dermatitis due to overexposure to these harmful irritants. If your employer fails to provide protective clothing, the risk of contracting symptoms becomes much higher.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, contact dermatitis makes up for 79% of all work-related skin diseases.  Fifteen percent of contact dermatitis cases are caused by every-day soaps and cleaners, 14% are caused by ‘wet work’ (work which involves the hands being wet) with the remaining amount being caused by contact with substances such as rubber chemicals, preservatives, cosmetics, resins and food.

Occupations most at risk of Contact Dermatitis include:

  • Those who work in the chemical sector
  • Paint industry workers
  • Cleaners
  • People in the food industry
  • Farmers
  • Hairdressers
  • Beauticians
  • Chefs
  • Metalworkers
  • Florists
  • Construction workers

Contact dermatitis isn’t always caused as a result of someone’s occupation.  Substances causing skin irritation are used in an array of different environments and exposure to these substances may occur whilst you are a visitor on someone else’s premises, or as the result of a purchase you’ve made, if the product in question isn’t properly allergy tested. 

If your dermatitis has developed as the result of a third party’s negligence, you are still able to make a claim and our team is very well equipped to be able to handle it on your behalf.  Take a look at our compensation calculator to get further information on this element of skin damage in a non-work setting.  

Preventing and Treating Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis can be effectively prevented by reducing exposure to harmful chemicals and irritants. When working with irritants, wearing protective clothing is of vital importance in ensuring you are protected and is the first step in reducing symptoms. 

Depending on the severity and longevity of your symptoms, dermatitis can be treated using a number of methods.  These methods may include:

  • Prescription of a moisturising cream to help combat dry skin.
  • If moisturising doesn’t help, you will be prescribed a topical corticosteroid (steroid treatment) in the form of a cream, gel or ointment. Steroid treatment aims to reduce inflammation and irritation.
  • If you are in need of stronger treatment, corticosteroid medication will be prescribed in the form of oral medication, injection or inhaler. This treatment reduces inflammation and suppresses the immune system to aid recovery.
  • If the above treatment methods do not work, your doctor may recommend Phototherapy treatment that involves using ultraviolet light to treat the skin. However, this treatment comes with risks, such as skin cancer, that you should discuss with your doctor.

If you have been diagnosed with contact dermatitis that developed due to the negligence of your employer, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible.

Why Choose JMW?

Our experienced team of industrial disease solicitors has a wealth of expertise in helping individuals who have developed dermatitis as a result of someone else’s negligence to claim compensation. We will provide you with specialist advice throughout the process, ensuring are well informed throughout.

The team at JMW work in a professional and proactive manner, always working towards the best outcome for you. Our solicitors are friendly and approachable, and will strive to make the process as hassle-free as possible for you.

What’s more, we work on a no win no fee basis, meaning you are not placing yourself under any financial risk in the event of an unsuccessful claim.

Talk to Us

To speak to an expert about your case, contact our friendly team today by calling 0800 054 6570. Alternatively, complete our online contact form and we will be in touch at a time convenient for you.



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