Occupational Acne

Occupational acne refers to breakouts on the skin that occur as a result of work-related exposure to certain chemicals, oils, and other substances that can clog pores and irritate the skin. This type of acne is common among people who work in industries such as healthcare, construction, and food service. To prevent occupational acne, it is recommended to wear protective clothing, wash skin regularly, and use non-comedogenic skin care products.


Occupational acne is a type of acne caused by exposure to certain substances in the workplace. The main causes of occupational acne are:

  1. Oils and grease: Workers in industries such as catering, cooking, and mechanical engineering are often exposed to oils and grease, which can clog pores and cause acne breakouts.
  2. Dust and grime: Workers in construction, manufacturing, and other manual labor jobs are exposed to dust and grime, which can mix with oils and sweat to cause acne.
  3. Chemicals: Workers in the cosmetic, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries are often exposed to a variety of chemicals that can irritate the skin and cause acne.
  4. High heat: Workers in industries such as welding, metalworking, and firefighting are exposed to high heat, which can cause increased sweating and oil production, leading to acne breakouts.
  5. Stress: Stress is a common cause of acne, and workers in high-stress jobs, such as those in the financial or legal industries, are more prone to acne breakouts.

It is important for workers to take preventative measures, such as using protective gear, washing the skin regularly, and avoiding exposure to irritating substances, to reduce the risk of developing occupational acne.


Occupational acne is a type of acne that develops as a result of exposure to certain substances in the workplace. The main symptoms of occupational acne include:

  1. Papules and pustules: These are raised bumps that contain pus, often appearing on the face, neck, chest, and upper arms.
  2. Nodules and cysts: These are large, painful pimples that can be deep under the skin and can cause scarring.
  3. Blackheads and whiteheads: These are clogged pores that appear as small bumps on the skin.
  4. Irritation and redness: Exposure to irritants and allergens in the workplace can cause skin irritation and redness.
  5. Excessive oil production: Exposure to certain substances can increase oil production, leading to clogged pores and acne breakouts.

It is important to seek medical attention for occupational acne, as it can lead to scarring and have a negative impact on a person’s confidence and self-esteem. A doctor can help determine the cause of the acne and provide appropriate treatment options.



A doctor or dermatologist can diagnose occupational acne by conducting a physical examination, medical history review, and occupational history assessment.


The following tests may be conducted to diagnose occupational acne:

  1. Skin patch test: A small amount of the suspected chemical is applied to the skin and monitored for any reaction.
  2. Patch test series: A series of common allergens and irritants are applied to the skin to identify the causative agent.
  3. Blood tests: To determine if the patient has elevated levels of certain substances in their blood, indicating exposure to toxic substances.
  4. Skin biopsy: A small piece of skin is taken and analyzed under a microscope to identify any damage or irritation.

It is important to consult with a doctor or dermatologist for proper diagnosis and treatment of occupational acne.


Occupational acne, also known as acne mechanic or acne industrialis, is a form of acne caused by exposure to various substances in the workplace, such as oils, grease, and chemicals.

The main treatment for occupational acne involves a combination of topical and oral medications, as well as lifestyle changes.

  1. Topical medications:
  • Benzoyl peroxide: This is a powerful antiseptic that helps kill bacteria and unclog pores.
  • Salicylic acid: This helps exfoliate the skin and unclog pores.
  • Retinoids: These are derivatives of Vitamin A that can improve the skin’s texture and reduce inflammation.
  1. Oral medications:
  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics such as tetracycline, minocycline, and doxycycline can help control bacteria and reduce inflammation.
  • Isotretinoin: This is a strong oral medication that can help clear severe acne and prevent future outbreaks.
  1. Lifestyle changes:
  • Avoiding contact with irritants in the workplace: It is important to wear protective gear, such as gloves and masks, to minimize exposure to irritants.
  • Maintaining good hygiene: This includes regularly washing hands and face, avoiding harsh soaps and scrubs, and using a gentle cleanser.
  • Eating a healthy diet: A diet high in fruits, vegetables, and lean protein can help improve the overall health of the skin.

It is important to seek the advice of a dermatologist for a personalized treatment plan for occupational acne.