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Washing raises dermatitis risk

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Nurses who wash their hands more frequently are at increased risk of irritant contact dermatitis, claim US researchers.

Using patch tests on the skin of 60 healthcare workers, all of whom washed their hands at least eight times a day, the researchers found 63% had hand dermatitis. They also found 22% of those who handwashed more than 10 times a day developed the condition, compared with only 13% who washed less than 10 times daily.

'This knowledge can help workers at risk for the condition to practise good hand care and follow preventative tips to decrease their risk factors on the job,' said the authors.

The results were presented last month at an American Academy of Dermatology conference in Texas.
peer support can be used to increase self-confidence, the authors suggested.

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