Persistent post-occupational dermatitis Academic Article uri icon


  • Wall and Gebauer (Contact Dermatitis 1991: 24: 241-243) first described persistent post-occupational dermatitis (PPOD) as ongoing dermatitis for which there is no obvious present cause, precipitated by prior occupational contact dermatitis (OCD). We propose that individuals exhibiting PPOD lose the capacity for resolution of their condition upon removal from exposure to causative agents and subsequently develop persistent dermatitis, which can be continual or intermittent. Accordingly, we suggest modification of criterion 6 of the OCD criteria developed by Mathias (J Am Acad Dermatol 1989: 20: 842-848): 'Removal from exposure initially leads to improvement of dermatitis, however, over time there may be incomplete or no improvement, despite removal from exposures at work'. To satisfy the definition of PPOD, individuals must meet at least 4 of the 7 criteria, including the altered criterion 6. We present 6 cases of PPOD exemplifying these scenarios, which met the altered Mathias criteria. In some cases, subsequent failure to recognize the initial work relatedness of their skin conditions resulted in the termination of workers' compensation benefits. This situation is particularly relevant in the Australian context. The diagnosis of PPOD needs to be considered in all individuals with work-initiated dermatitis who present with ongoing endogenous-like eczema.


  • Sajjachareonpong, Praneet
  • Cahill, Jennifer
  • Keegel, Tessa
  • Saunders, Helen
  • Nixon, Rosemary

publication date

  • November 2004