Background: Over the years, studies have been performed to analyze contact dermatitis in metalworkers. Results for industrial workers in general have shown that about 25% clear, 50% improve, and 25% do no better or worsen. This retrospective study looked at the machinists who were treated in the occupational dermatology clinic at the Hershey Medical Center to evaluate their presentation, patch test results, diagnosis, and prognosis. In addition, we looked at the usefulness of patch testing in the subjects' outcome. A total of 20 machinists' charts were reviewed. Results: Five workers had allergic contact dermatitis, five had irritant contact dermatitis, four had endogenous dermatitis, and six had mixed dermatitis. Conclusions: We found that 25% of our workers cleared (5 of 20), 55% improved (11 of 20), and 20% were unable to be reached to further evaluate their prognosis (4 of 20). The results of patch testing seemed to have aided the improvement or clearance of dermatitis in seven cases.
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