Other Occupational Skin Diseases

  • Elke WeisshaarEmail author
  • Thomas L. Diepgen
Reference work entry


Erysipeloid is an acute infection due to Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, a gram-positive bacillus. It may present as a localized cutaneous form, a generalized cutaneous form with widespread erythematous-edematous lesions and symptoms such as fever, lymphadenitis, and arthralgia. Healing normally occurs spontaneously in 2 weeks with desquamation or suppuration. Diagnosis is mainly clinical. Recommended treatment centers on antibiotics with, e.g., penicillin. Prevention includes good sanitation, reduction of trauma, systematic slaughtering of infected animals, and wearing of protective gloves.

Query (Q) fever is a worldwide zoonosis caused by Coxiella burnetii, a gram-negative bacterium. Farm animals and pets are the main reservoir of human infections. Epidemiological studies indicate Q fever as a public health problem in many countries. Therapy centers on doxycycline. Query fever infections resolve in most cases. Prevention includes protection measures such as protective clothing, tick control strategies, good hygiene practice, and systematic slaughtering of infected animals.

Tinea pedis is caused by dermatophytes and usually leads to an infection of the feet or toes. Living in an institution, especially when washing facilities are shared, is likely to increase the chances of infection. All professions demanding the wearing of shoes that may occlude the skin are more frequently affected by tinea pedis. Diagnosis is made clinically and by fungal culture. Mild interdigital tinea pedis can be treated topically with broad-spectrum antifungal. Prevention includes treatment of onychomycosis if present, treatment of associated diseases such as vesicular eczema and hyperhidrosis, and adequate hygiene of the feet.

Vitiligo-like skin lesions may occur in the rubber industry when thiols and quinones are used as additives. Treatment comprises identifying the underlying etiology and prevention of skin contact with the causing agent.

Psoriasis of the hands may present as keratotic patches on the palms, usually not displaying the classical features of psoriatic lesions elsewhere on the body. In the work environment, skin trauma and mechanical affections of the hands are aggravating factors of psoriasis. No specific occupation predominates. It is estimated that occupational contact psoriasis probably accounts for 1.2% of all occupational dermatoses.

Borreliosis is the most common tick-transmitted disease in the Northern Hemisphere caused by spirochetes of the Borrelia burgdorferi species. Diagnosis is made by clinical findings, a history of tick bites (up to 50% of patients do not remember the tick bite), and laboratory testings. Prevention of tick bites and borreliosis comprises a combination of primary prevention, early diagnosis, and treatment.


Borreliosis Occupational dermatology Psoriasis Skin infections 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Clinical Social Medicine, Occupational and Environmental DermatologyUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany
  2. 2.Department of Social Medicine, Occupational and Environmental DermatologyUniversity HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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