Recent figures show that more than 25,000 work-related skin diseases have been reported to Germany’s statutory accident insurance providers. This is important as it reduces the estimated number of unreported cases. The sooner a problem is identified, the faster it can be remedied.
Whether or not the development of a skin disorder may have an occupational connection is discussed by the doctor and patient in a detailed consultation. If it is possible that a skin disorder is work-related, then, with the agreement of the patient, a dermatologist’s report can be issued to the accident insurance provider responsible for the company (occupational health & safety and employer’s liability insurance association). This records a work-related skin disorder at the earliest possible stage so that the appropriate protective measures to prevent a more serious skin disorder can be taken (dermatologist’s procedure). If the employer’s liability insurance association acknowledges the likelihood of an occupational relationship with the skin disorder, then it will also bear the costs of treatment, which for patients has the advantage, in addition to preventing the skin disorder, of them not incurring additional payments for drugs (as with statutory sickness insurance). Furthermore, skin protection and skincare products that otherwise would not be available on prescription can be provided free of charge by the employer or the employer’s liability insurance association.
If, from the beginning there is a suspicion of a serious work-related skin disorder, or if, in the course of the dermatologist’s procedure there is a further deterioration in the work-related skin condition, then in agreement with the affected person a medical notice will be issued. A serious occupational skin disease exists if there is a “serious or repeatedly relapsing skin disorder that has forced the sufferer to cease all activities that caused or could cause the occurrence, deterioration or recurrence of the disorder.” Whether or not these conditions are met is discussed and assessed by us in conjunction with the patient. Fundamentally, it is always the aim to restore full professional capacity without the need to give up or change occupation; only if there is no other option should an occupational disease notice be issued. Upon instruction by an employer’s liability insurance association, we are also able to carry out statutory accident insurance assessments.