There are five types of acne vulgaris that are caused or aggravated by a person’s occupation. These job related types of acne include:
1. Occupational acne
2. Mechanical acne
3. Cosmetic acne
4. Acne detergens
Occupational acne is caused by exposure to coal tar derivatives and machine oils.
Workers at risk for developing this type of acne include motor vehicle mechanics.
Mechanical acne is triggered by physical forces which breakdown the sebaceous or oil producing glands. Source of such physical forces include friction from helmet straps and shirt collars.
Professions at risk of developing this type of acne include construction and factory workers who have to wear helmets as they work. Professionals who have to wear suits such as lawyers and accountants may also be at risk especially if they wear shirts with stiff collars.
Cosmetic acne which is also known as pomade acne or acne cosmetica is a type of acne that is caused by the use of skincare products which clog the skin pores. These pore clogging or comedogenic skincare products contain ingredients such as synthetic lanolins and Drug & Cosmetic (D & C) red dye #3.
Occupations at risk for developing cosmetic acne are those which encourage the use of makeup up such as TV presenters, actors and models. Therefore, effective acne treatment for cosmetic acne should include avoiding makeup or using makeup with non-comedogenic ingredients.
Acne detergens is triggered by excessive washing especially of the face as this can trigger excessive oil production which can then clog the pores.
Professions at risk of developing this type of acne include gym instructors and personal trainers who may have to repeatedly wash off the sweat from their bodies.
Chloracne is triggered by exposure to halogenated hydrocarbons such as chlorinated dioxin either through inhalation or direct contact.
Occupations that may be at risk of developing chloracne include metal workers.
Therefore, it is always important to find out if your job is contributing to your disease especially if you begin to develop acne lesions late in life or after starting working in a new company.