Occupational Hand Dermatitis among Hair Dressers in a Semi-urban Community in Rivers State, South-South Nigeria
Keywords:Occupational hand dermatitis, Hair dressers, Nigeria
Background: Hair dressers are exposed to diverse potential irritation-causing hair beauty products and therefore, at a high risk of occupational hand dermatitis. This category of workers especially in the developing world like Nigeria, may not be applying requisite safety practices for the prevention and control of possible hazardous effects of chemicals contained in these beauty products. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of occupational hand dermatitis among hair dressers in Choba, a semi- urban community in Rivers State, Nigeria. It also assessed respondents ‘knowledge and behavior towards the causes (or risk factors) and control of occupational hand dermatitis.
Methods: Following ethical approval, this descriptive cross sectional study recruited 108 consenting hair dressers by multistage sampling. Pre-tested, semi-structured, close-ended interviewer-administered questionnaires probed socio-demographics, past medical I occupational history, knowledge and behaviour of respondents towards occupational hand dermatitis. Data collected were later analyzed using descriptive statistical tools.
Results: With a predominantly young (18-25 years modal age range) female (84.7%) population, this study had a prevalence of 34.3% occupational hand dermatitis. This low prevalence was complemented by a high (55.2%) level of knowledge even when there were risk factors (viz: alcohol (41.9%), smoking (2.9%), allergy (9.5%), and chronic exposure).
Conclusion: The study showed that there was a low prevalence of occupational hand dermatitis among hair dressers in Choba community due to a high knowledge of the causes of the disease and good safety practices towards prevention and control. It is recommended that health education be sustained and extended to other communities
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