June 2011

A Novel Cause of Economic Loss Due to Hand Dermatitis

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Ansari Naggar, New Delhi, India.


Copyright 2011 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2011

Arch Dermatol. 2011;147(6):753. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2011.160

Hand dermatitis is the commonest occupational disorder and results in substantial economic loss.1,2 We recently saw a man with a mild fingertip dermatitis that caused loss of wages for an unusual reason.

A 28-year-old man was seen in our hospital for recurrent, slightly itchy scaling and fissuring over the fingertips of both hands for 2 years (Figure). He experienced this problem only in winter. His main reason for seeing us for these relatively mild symptoms was that the newly introduced biometric attendance system in his office was not registering his fingerprints. As a result, he was frequently being marked absent from work, and his salary deducted for these presumed absences from duty. He faced this problem only during the winter when his fingertip dermatitis was active; in summer he was able to record his attendance on the system. We prescribed topical steroids and emollients. Though there was some improvement in the scaling and he was able to successfully mark his attendance more often, the problem of nonregistration of fingerprints on some days persisted.

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