Prevalence, Incidence and Predictive Factors for Hand Eczema in Young Adults

A Follow-Up Study

Arne Johannisson; Ann Pontén; Åke Svensson


BMC Dermatol. 2013;13(14) 

In This Article


Hand eczema is common in the general population. In a recent review of studies in the general population from mostly European countries, the 1-year prevalence rates ranged from 6.5% to 17.5%.[1] Hand eczema is 1.5 – 2 times more common in females compared with males.[2,3] Swedish estimates of 1-year prevalence of hand eczema in different age-groups have varied from 6.5% to 11.8%.[4–6] Among Swedish 20–29 year-olds, the 1-year prevalence of hand eczema was reported to range from 7.5% to 10.8%.[3,4] Furthermore, hand eczema is the most common occupational skin disease.[7]

Occupation-related hand eczema has many negative consequences. The economic costs are considerable for affected individuals and for society.[8,9] Hand eczema has been shown to have an unfavourable long-term prognosis[10] and to impair quality of life.[11] These consequences could be reduced by identifying and preventing risk factors.

Several exogenous risk factors for hand eczema have been reported: occupational exposure, use of detergents and wet work at home.[4,12–14] The identification and evaluation of risk factors for the development and persistence of hand eczema are important especially among young adults. During this period of life, type of occupation, household work and childcare are factors that are important to study because they might be related to the development of hand eczema. Taken together, these circumstances justify follow-up studies in early adulthood.

The aim of the present study was to investigate the prevalence and cumulative incidence of hand eczema and to evaluate factors that can influence the development and recurrence of hand eczema in young adults.