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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 181-185

Occupational dermatoses among cottage industry workers of Kashmir Valley in North India

Department of Dermatology, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Leprosy, Government Medical College, Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir, India

Correspondence Address:
Iffat Hassan
Department of Dermatology, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Leprosy, Government Medical College, Srinagar, University of Kashmir, Jammu and Kashmir - 190 010
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2229-5178.206122

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Introduction: Cottage industry is usually a small-scale industry operated from home by family members using their own equipment. Kashmir has a unique cottage industry of its own which deals with production of many handicrafts, which may lead to a peculiar pattern of skin diseases in these artisans. Aim: The aim of this study was to find out the pattern of skin disorders in the cottage industry workers of Kashmir valley, with primary focus on the occupation-related dermatoses and to identify the most common cutaneous manifestation in these workers. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional descriptive study in which 1062 cottage industry workers engaged in different crafts were screened. A detailed history taking and examination was carried out in each worker and the diagnosis was made on clinical grounds. Wherever deemed necessary, relevant investigations were done to establish the nature of the disease. Results: A total of 1062 workers were evaluated for the presence of skin disorders. The male-to-female ratio was 1:1.5. The mean age of the study group was 30.3 years ± 10.79 years, with maximum number of workers (164) belonging to the crewel embroidery industry. The mean duration of work was 6.4 ± 2.08 hours/day. A total of 953 workers (89.7%) had cutaneous manifestations, with callosities being the most common finding seen in 371 workers (35%), followed by cumulative insult dermatitis seen in 201 workers (19%). Conclusion: Cottage industry of Kashmir valley is a unique occupational group where a high percentage of workers had cutaneous manifestations related to their occupation, with callosities being the most common finding. Information and better knowledge regarding these dermatoses are important in devising strategies to improve the health scenario of these workers. Simple measures such as proper use of instruments, use of protective gloves, guarded use of chemicals, and hand washing may be very beneficial in reducing the burden of health problems in these workers.

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