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Hair-raising issues of hairdressers

Hair dressers are an unhappy lot because nearly 50 percent of the clan is found battling chronic skin disease, which signals a dry patch in their careers.// A new study has claimed that nearly 50,000 hair stylists are suffering dermatitis, triggered by constant use of chemicals, soaps and shampoos that render constantly moist hands.

Due to this, many hair-dressers opt out of their careers, unable to carry on with their jobs when the condition worsens. Hairdressers are paying a price for the negligence and apathy on the part of employers who have flouted safety regulations like providing shielding gloves or lotions capable of offsetting harm to the skin.

Now, LGA has stipulated that owners of beauty salons should comply with the safety and regulation norms, failing which they could face prosecution and a fine for not adequately protecting their workers. LGA spokeswoman Helen Zacharias said “Taking precautions, such as wearing gloves would reduce substantially the number of people suffering from dermatitis. If your hands reacts badly to being constantly wet and in constant contact with chemicals, taking precautions can massively reduce the chances getting dermatitis. Most councils up and down the country are enforcing the regulations as we speak, but this mostly takes the form of informing and advising businesses. In extreme circumstances, where employees are leaving disabled or businesses are ignoring advice, they would be prosecuted, which could well mean a fine."

Nina Goad, of the British Skin Foundation, said: "With contact dermatitis, prevention is definitely better than cure. Often once people have developed dermatitis the condition can remain chronic. This can affect people both professionally and socially. Education is key as it's important that hairdressers know how to protect themselves, what to look out for and what to do if they develop a skin problem. Preventative measures include protective clothing and use of emollient
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