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What are the side effects of working with concrete ?

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Practicing since : 2002
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My brother of 40yrs old was working in concrete with his bare hands and now is having a reaction. His fingernails are curling backwards and skin is blistering. Told him to soak in viniger to stop acid. Also on his knees
Posted Wed, 2 May 2012 in Asthma and Allergy
Answered by Dr. Robert Galamaga 2 hours later

Thank you for submitting your question.

Your question is a good one and I will try to provide you with some good recommendations and information regarding what is going on with your brother.

If your brother has no history of allergies to any substances, it is possible that he may have developed one with all of this work which he is been doing with the concrete.
The concrete can sometimes cause a local inflammatory reaction if it is handled with bare hands. Sometimes as the concrete dries along the layers of the skin, it can cause a local reaction which tends to remove the very superficial layers of the skin.

This can be quite painful and uncomfortable and may explain what is going on with your brother.

As far as recommendations for what to do in this situation is extremely important that he starts to change the way he works with the concrete. He should wear gloves at all times while doing this work. In addition if he gets any concrete on his hands he needs to wash it off immediately.
As far as the skin which is currently irritated it would be important to provide a good soothing and moisturizing cream which you can apply three times per day to the affected areas.

I would recommend any type of cream which has some aloe vera in it as a good moisturizing agent. This should be done for at least the next 7 to 10 days as his skin will heal. Ideally if he were able to abstain from performing any more work with the concrete he may also encounter a quicker recovery.

I thank you again for submitting your question. I hope you have found my response to be both helpful and informative. If you have any additional questions regarding this concern I would be happy to address them here.


Dr. Galamaga
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