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BACKGROUND: Despite the connection between skin and respiratory system in occupational disease is growing area of research interest, there is still a limited evidence for the effects of both airborne and skin exposures together with skin and respiratory outcomes.
CASE PRESENTATION: This report describes a 32-years old female with no previous history of atopy, asthma or skin disorders working as an office cleaner for three years. About two years after entering the actual workplace she developed episodic wheezing, shortening of breath and chest tightness. At the same time, she noticed eczematous lesions on the skin of both hands. She reported work-relatedness of both respiratory and skin symptoms, i.e. the symptoms improved during weekends and holidays and worsened when she returned to work. The patient was referred to Institute for Occupational Health of R. Macedonia for assessment of possible occupational asthma (OA) and occupational contact dermatitis (OCD). Diagnosis of asthma was confirmed by standard diagnostic procedure, while the diagnosis of sensitizer-induced OA was established by positive result of serial peak expiratory flow rate (PEFR) measurements at and away from work. Diagnosis of allergic OCD was confirmed by positive patch test to formaldehyde. The management of both diseases included complete removal from the harmful workplace exposure, as well as pharmacological treatment according to the actual recommendations.CONCLUSIONS: This case report represents a description of a co-occurrence of work-related skin and respiratory symptoms in a female working as an office cleaner. Formaldehyde is found to be a causative factor of allergic OCD, and it also may be a causative factor of sensitive-induced OA in the same patient, but other occupational sensitizers cannot be excluded.
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