Prognosis of contact dermatitis in epoxy resin workers Academic Article uri icon


  • Between January 1993 and February 2002, 40 of 1354 (3%) workers who attended a tertiary referral occupational dermatology clinic were diagnosed with allergic contact dermatitis (ACD) from epoxy resin systems (ER). 20 of these patients were followed up at least 2 years post-diagnosis to establish prognosis. Characteristics collected at diagnosis, including age, atopic status and severity, were compared between the follow-up and not followed-up groups. No significant differences were observed. A clinician contacted patients and administered a telephone questionnaire based on variables identified from the literature, which were considered of importance for prognosis. All patients reported improvement of their skin condition since diagnosis. 12 of the 20 {60%[95% confidence interval (CI) 56-94%]} patients had applied for workers' compensation; all of these claims were successful. 16 had ceased working with ER. Of these, 9 [56% (95% CI 29-80%)] reported complete healing and 7 [44% (95% CI 19-70%)] reported ongoing dermatitis. Although no conclusions could be drawn because of the small sample size, factors that may be associated with a poor prognosis were age, atopy, duration of symptoms and severity at diagnosis. The prognosis of ACD from ER is not always favourable, even if a worker ceases exposure.


  • Cahill, Jennifer
  • Keegel, Tessa
  • Dharmage, Shyamali
  • Nugriaty, Dhini
  • Nixon, Rosemary

publication date

  • March 2005