oa Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology - Occupational vitiligo in association with Australian blackwood dust as a novel risk factor : allergies in the workplace

Volume 21 Number 3
  • ISSN : 1609-3607



Occupational vitiligo is an acquired depigmenting disorder of the skin that can be caused by certain chemical skin exposures in the workplace in genetically susceptible people. The association between vitiligo and occupational chemical exposures was first described in 1939 in leatherworkers in relation to exposure to mono-benzyl ether of hydroquinone in rubber gloves. Since then an increasingly long list of chemical agents, and in particular the phenol / catechol derivatives, have been associated with the development of vitiligo. Our understanding of the complex interplay of genetic and environmental risk factors has been improved through the recent discovery of NALP1 and certain other genes implicated in conferring susceptibility to vitiligo and other autoimmune and autoinflammatory conditions. This article looks at a sentinel case of occupational vitiligo instigated by contact with Australian blackwood () dust in a cabinet maker, with good resolution of lesions following his removal from exposure and treatment.

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