Hairdressers with dermatitis are very common. If left untreated it can be very painful, embarrassing and costly, but it is absolutely preventable. If you are a hair dresser and suffer from dermatitis, take the appropriate steps to help ease the pain and prevent it from coming back.
It’s important to know that dermatitis is not catching, so it can’t be passed around, it can be developed at anytime during your career. Some people can be seriously affected by it, and other might not get it at all, everyone is different. Broadly speaking, dermatitis can be split into two types: irritant contact dermatitis and allergic contact dermatitis. Each type is different, so it’s important to identify your dermatitis so you know how to handle it appropriately.
Irritant contact dermatitis can occur if you’ve been in contact with strong chemicals such as bleach. Because hairdressers are very often working with mild chemicals such as shampoo it is very common for it to develop gradually – A product that is often used within the hairdressing profession. Washing people’s hair regularly can sometimes cause dermatitis to occur over time.
Allergic contact dermatitis often develops quite quickly after minor contact with substances such as shampoos or colouring agents. It’s not infrequent for this kind of allergy to take months or sometimes years to fully develop. Once the allergy has developed, although unfortunate it is likely that the allergy will stay with you for the rest of your life. Even if you have had no problems before in your career this can happen at anytime. If you become allergic to a product in work it is not unusual to find that a number of household products such as cleaners, shampoos, bleaches etc will also affect your allergic dermatitis.
Dermatitis is mainly caused by frequent wet working, so hairdressers are most at risk of developing it, especially if they spend prolonged periods of time in contact with water throughout the day. Another main cause is a lot of the chemicals in hairdressing products, such as shampoos, colours, bleaches or even the products you use to clean up afterward. You can also suffer with it if you handle chemical soaked equipment, touching contaminated clothing, tools or containers, aerosols or even dust landing on your skin and the surfaces that you touch.