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Skin diseases are a major problem for hair dressers with the risk of developing dermatitis, which in some cases could mean that you can not continue to work in your profession.
Dry, sensitive, reddish and itchy skin, dermatitis and allergies can be the result of overly stressed and unprotected hands. Physiological stress from water, chemicals, heat and the mechanical impacts from hair cutting using scissors is part of the daily work of a hairdresser, which cannot be prevented. Unfortunately, these pressures are the cause for skin diseases being the most widely spread job related disease for hairdressers (over 70% of all diseases in that profession are skin related). Most in danger are those working continuously without longer interruptions with water and skin harming substances.
But what happens to our hands under this physiological stress and what can be done against it?
Almost all hair treatment substances being used daily in a hair salon are chemicals. Additionally, there is an intense contact with water or a moist environment, as for example in protective gloves.
As a basic rule one can say that there is an increased risk of skin damages in those cases where hands are exposed more than two hours per day to wet or moist conditions (B). The water from shampooing is already sufficient to take away the natural protective oily shield of the skin (Sebum). Shampoos and other chemical working substances aggravate the negative effects (C). The skin becomes wrinkly and external substances and germs can enter deeply into the skin (D). Ultimately, the important brick and mortar structure of the skin is destroyed. This leads to sensitive, reddish and itchy skin which will result over time into eczema and other infections. The entrance of external substances, fragrances and chemicals can also lead to allergic reactions. Substances which so far where well received by the skin, can become the reason for allergic reactions on a skin without protection. The allergy causing substances cannot be used by the hairdresser in the future anymore, which could have been prevented with the use of REAMIN® – the hand protective care cream especially for hairdressers.
Regular wet works like hair washing take away the natural protective uppermost layer of the skin (stratum corneum). This has two effects. One is that natural moisture is being lost, which normally is being kept within the skin by the protective layer. The second is that the unprotected deeper layers of the skin are now directly exposed to irritating substances like shampoos and other hair care products increasing the risk of developing contact dermatitis. As a basic rule one can say that there is an increased risk of skin damages in case hands are exposed more than two hours per day to wet or moist conditions. It takes the skin several hours to re-establish its protective shield again after wet works.
Usually, the skin suffers from colouring, bleach and perms chemicals due to their skin irritating nature. Especially in combination with wet works the skin is at danger to develop contact dermatitis. Also when washing out those substances the hands are directly exposed to a harming environment.
Wearing protective gloves over a longer period will also expose the skin to moisture from the hands’ own humidity from transpiration. As any prolonged exposure to humidity wearing protective gloves will also harm the natural protective layer of the skin. Again the skin will dry out and become sensitive.
In general hair cutting means exposing the skin to mechanical forces (e.g. from scissors). The skin becomes more vulnerable from continued mechanical impact. Especially when cutting wet hair the ends get more pointed and can result into unpleasant and skin irritating micro punctures.
The repetitive and frequent use of finishing and styling products can lead to skin problems. The application into the hair usually happens without protective gloves. The frequent exposure to those chemicals can make the skin more sensitive and eventually become allergic. Also the heat of hair drying lets the skin dry out.
It is of utmost importance to protect your hands against the daily exposures in a salon in order to keep your most important working tools highly performant. Leaving them unprotected is a high and unnecessary risk, which could ultimately mean that you have to stop working in your beloved profession.