Why Don’t You Go See a Doctor, Man?

The good news is: Skin allergy is not a dangerous disease. Most of us would just think of it as red, insignificant eczema. The bad news is: studies show that skin allergy has a huge impact on quality of life, and men are the most affected.

Skin disorder is the most common work related disorder in most European countries. Occupations such as bakers, in the fishing industry, mechanics, machine operators or locksmiths have the highest risk. Work related skin allergy is usually placed on quite visible places such as hands and forearms and even though men often ignore the symptoms, studies show that most men are very affected and sometimes it even effects the whole family.

When men have skin allergy, they find it difficult to touch their children and partner, because they incorrectly assume the eczema is contagious. They are also afraid people will find them repulsing thus they start avoiding body contact. Occupational skin allergy and especially hand eczema  results in anxiety and depression.

Men say the eczema:

  • Will make them use clothes that can hide the eczema
  • Will change their daily routines
  • Make them uncomfortable when they are with other people
  • Affects their relationship and sexuality
  • Make them feel physically unattractive
  • Make them feeling a constant need of control which is very exhausting
  • Take away sleep because of the itching

But why are men more affected than women? Some of the reasons seems to be:

  • Men don’t like going to the doctor, which means that their symptom often are quite severe before they get the right treatment.
  • Men don’t talk to others about diseases as much as women – talking about your eczema while having a beer is just not something men do.
  • Women are better at calling in sick than men, which means that men often stay in the job that make them sick until they are not able to work anymore.

To end on a positive note: studies show that when men finally start treatment of their skin allergy, their life will seem better almost immediately. Just getting a patch test improves their quality of life, because they feel that something is happening.

So for all you men: if your hands itch go to the doctor. Call him. Now.