Acrylic sculpting nails, an occupational hazard for contact dermatitis. Case reports and review of the literature

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Acrylates are plastic materials formed by the polymerization of monomers, which are recognized as powerful sensitizers that may cause allergic contact dermatitis both in occupational and non-occupational environment. In the occupational setting, the most exposed workers are the dentists, dental technicians, prosthesis technicians, printers, painters, fiberglass workers and nail technicians. We describe four cases of occupational allergic contact dermatitis in nail technicians caused by acrylic compounds that illustrate numerous clinical manifestations. Clinical manifestations ranged from edema, erythema, scaling and fissuring fingertips to erythematous patches around the chin, mandible and abdomen. Patch testing results revealed positive reaction to 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate in all patients. Of the four patients, two changed jobs, one stopped exposure because of pregnancy and one patient continued working, showing no improvement, despite undergoing treatment. These cases underline the importance of improvement of preventive measures in the workplace.

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