Hand eczema is considered a common condition, with a point prevalence of 1-5% among adults in the general population, and a 1-year prevalence of up to 10%, depending on whether the disease definition includes, more pronounced or mild cases. The prevalence may be higher in some countries. Recently, a decreased prevalence was stipulated, attributed to decreased occupational exposure to irritants. Hand eczema is twice as common in women than in men, with the highest prevalence in young women. Reasons for this sex difference are unknown, although greater exposure of women to wet work is probably contributory. Reliable data on incidence are scarce, and are mainly confined to estimates in particular occupational groups. Estimates vary from 0-5 per 1000 in the general population to 7 per 1000 per year in high-risk occupations such as bakers and hairdressers.
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