A Rash is a change in the color, texture or overall appearance of the skin. Rashes can affect a specific area of skin or the entire body. This will depend on how long the skin is exposed or how strong the irritant is.
Rashes are basically allergic reactions of the body which manifest on the skin. The most common causes of rashes are foods such as strawberries, nuts, soy or seafood. Some rashes can also be a result of exposure to metals, microorganisms or excessive heat.
What is a Work Rash?
Essentially, a work rash is a skin condition acquired due to exposure to irritants found at work. For instance, a newly hired dishwasher can suddenly experience redness and itchiness of his hands. This could be a result of irritation from the soap at the restaurant.
For a rash to be considered work-related the patient should experience the rash only during or after work and the rash should disappear once the patient quits or takes a vacation.
How is a Work Rash Diagnosed?
Patients should keep a health journal if they suspect that their rashes are caused by items at work. The journal should contain details about the rash such as the affected area, the items which patient is exposed to and the times or days when the rash worsens.
Patients should also update the company’s work accident book so that in the event that the company or a third party conducts an investigation, there is adequate documentation about the incidence.
What are the Treatments for A Work Rash?
Reduction of exposure is the main way to treat a rash. In the case of the dishwasher allergic to the soap, gloves should be used to avoid exposure to the irritant. In relation to this, patients should try to identify the specific irritant that causes their allergic reaction. This is why keeping a health journal is so important. Knowing the causative factor is the first step to avoiding it.
Also, medical treatment for rashes will depend on its causative factor. Most rashes can be treated with a topical steroid such as hydrocortisone. This reduces the inflammation and redness of the rashes. The itching of rashes can be treated with calamine lotion. If the rashes are caused by a fungal infection, then anti-fungal creams may be used.
On the other hand, rashes caused by allergic reactions to food may require the intake of oral anti-allergy medications such as diphenhydramine or antihistamines.
Can I Claim Compensation Due to Rashes?
All employers are mandated by law to provide the protective gear necessary for the safety of their employees. Hence if a patient acquires rashes in the work place due to lack of protective equipment, it is possible to go after the company for compensation claims.
Unfortunately, most patients have difficulty in identifying the causative factors of their rashes. This can be due to poor documentation. In some cases, the patient’s system is so hypersensitive that it reacts to elements found in and out of the work place. This makes it difficult to blame the work place for the rashes.
For a claim to be successful, workers must be diligent in keeping their health journals. They should also be meticulous as to the assessment and documentation of their rashes. If the patient can prove that the workplace is responsible for the rash, then a compensation claim is feasible.