Allergic cutaneous diseases in hairdressers

Massimo Ferrari, G. Moscato, M. Imbriani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Hairdressers are commonly exposed to water, irritants, sensitizers, and are at risk of occupational skin diseases. Several cases of allergic contact dermatitis and contact urticaria in hairdressers have been described over the last few years. Objectives and methods: The paper aims to report occupational agents which can induce allergic cutaneous diseases in hairdressers; moreover an analysis of the literature was carried out to review data concerning epidemiology, clinical evaluation, management and prevention. Results and conclusions: Hairdressing carries a high risk of skin damage, especially for the hands. Allergic contact dermatitis is the most common disorder. Training represents a risk factor, while the role of atopy and nickel sensitivity as etiological agents is controversial. A great number of chemicals may induce allergic cutaneous diseases in hairdressers, such as nickel, thioglycolate, p-phenylendiamine (and other dye-related substances), persulphates, quaternary ammonium compounds, protein hydrolysates, surfactants, cyanoacrylates, latex, rubber haptens and others. Avoidance of further contact with the identified causal sensitizer(s) is the most important measure for management and prevention; to this end, a number of specific preventive strategies should be implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-118
Number of pages17
JournalMedicina del Lavoro
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • Allergy
  • Hairdressers
  • Skin diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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