Wet Work and Occlusion

  • Dimitar Antonov
  • Sibylle Schliemann
  • Peter ElsnerEmail author
  • Swen Malte John
Reference work entry


Wet work includes activities where the workers:

Have their hands in a wet environment regularly for more than 2 h/day.

Must wash their hands frequently (e.g., 20 or more times per day) or intensively.

Wear waterproof gloves; the time of wearing such gloves is added to the time in a wet environment if no effective measures are taken to regenerate the skin.

The irritant factors within the generalized concept of wet work are water, detergents, water-soluble irritants and soils that are specific for the various occupations, and the mechanical factor (e.g., rubbing while cleaning or hand-washing).

Water and occlusion are themselves weak irritants but exert a tandem action to potentate the irritant effects of detergents and other factors.

Effective preventive measures can be implemented against the irritant effects of wet work.


Wet work Occlusive gloves Epidermal barrier Irritation Irritant dermatitis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dimitar Antonov
    • 1
  • Sibylle Schliemann
    • 3
  • Peter Elsner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Swen Malte John
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyUniversity Hospital JenaJenaGermany
  2. 2.Department of Dermatology, Environmental Medicine and Health TheoryUniversity of OsnabrückOsnabrückGermany
  3. 3.Department of DermatologyUniversity Hospital Jena, Friedrich-Schiller-UniversityJenaGermany

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