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November 19, 2015

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Integrated skin care approach needed to tackle OSD

Working in low temperatures during the winter months, or those working in cold conditions all year round, can have a significant detrimental effect on the skin, particularly the hands, say skin product supplier Deb.

Occupational skin disease (OSD) can affect an organisation’s efficiency and the health and well-being of its employees, say the firm, who have warned that with cold and adverse weather approaching, dried and cracked hands can be a common problem for those working in low temperatures. However, they add that most cases can be avoided by implementing structured skin management processes to reduce the risk of skin exposure to irritating substances, hazards and environments.

Skin care company Deb has noted the significant affect the disease can have on employees and say they aim to improve hand hygiene compliance through education. From over 70 years of establishing skin care regimes for all types of workplace and public environments spanning the industrial, commercial, healthcare and food sectors, Deb say they have developed structured skin management processes to reduce the risk of skin exposure to irritating substances and hazards.

Chris Brooks, technical product manager explains: “Here at Deb we recommend that a ‘healthy skin’ workplace requires a safety mind-set. Workplaces must focus on the provision of employers and acceptance by employees of protection and restorative creams as part of the daily work routine to improve and maintain skin health and reduce the risk of OSD.

“Addressing and reducing occupational skin disease requires an integrated skin care product approach to protect, cleanse and restore the skin and this is achieved with a daily best practice routine of using essential skin care products.”

Deb advise:

  • applying protect creams to clean hands prior to working or after washing
  • using appropriate hand cleansers as soon as possible after hands become contaminated and/or immediately before/after visiting the toilet
  • applying restore creams at the end of the day/shift or prior to prolonged breaks to clean hands. These improve skin strength by moisturising, nourishing and conditioning the skin, preventing it from becoming dry or damaged, which can lead to occupational skin disease.

Stokoderm® Frost, a protection cream from the Deb Stoko® range, has been developed to prevent the hands, face and other exposed skin from getting dry under cold conditions, say the firm. It includes an anti-freeze effect to maintain product quality and help improve user comfort.

The company suggest that the use of additional clothing adopted in the winter months for warmth and protection against the elements can make users feel the uncomfortable with sweating, swelling, athlete’s foot and maceration all common complaints.

Other products available from Deb include:

  • Ansell Triple Active Gel with Deb ‘Active Defence Complex’: a pre-work cream for application under occupational gloves. The complex provides users with three key properties say the firm: anti-allergen, anti-irritant and anti-perspirant
  • Stokoderm® Foot Care: a deodorising liquid foot spray to help protect feet when in occupational footwear. Deb say the product helps to reduce skin swelling and the risk of athlete’s foot

The company say that their Stoko® Range incorporates options for communal dispensing of products, or personal issue packs to address specific needs and situations. With the cold weather imminent, it’s essential for employees to implement the correct precautions as well as giving their hands the extra care they need when exposed to the cold temperatures to avoid the dangers of OSD, conclude Deb.

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