2002 Volume 198 Issue 3 Pages 175-180
Although previous studies have documented reasonably high rates of skin disease among nursing home staff, the prevalence among Korean workers is not well known. For this investigation we selected a large Korean nursing home and distributed a skin disease questionnaire to all staff. Questions included job title, job description, employment history, working hours, patient contact and the occurrence of skin disease over the past 12 months. Workers who reported a dermatological problem then underwent skin examinations conducted by specialist occupational physicians and a dermatologist. Contact dermatitis was the most common skin disease detected, with 4.8% of staff currently suffering from it and 6.0% reporting it in the previous 12-month period. Tinea pedis was another common condition, affecting 3.6% on our examination day. However, only two-thirds of them (2.4%) recounted a past history of tinea pedis. Scabies was diagnosed among 2.4% of staff and reported as a previous infection by 6.0%. Overall, the prevalence of dermatitis and scabies were quite low when compared to previous studies, while fungal infection rates were similar to other investigations. Further research into this growing occupational demographic is indicated.