Conflict of Interest: Drs Gustafson and Feldman are affiliated with the Center for Dermatology Research. This Center is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Galderma Laboratories, L.P. Dr Feldman is a consultant and speaker for Galderma, Connetics, Abbott Labs, Warner Chilcott, Centocor, Amgen, Photomedex, Genentech, BiogenIdec and Bristol Myers Squibb. Dr Feldman has received grants from Galderma, Connetics, Astellas, Abbott Labs, Warner Chilcott, Centocor, Amgen, Photomedex, Genentech, BiogenIdec, Coria, Pharmaderm, Ortho Pharmaceuticals, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, Roche Dermatology, 3M, Bristol Myers Squibb, Stiefel, GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis, and has received stock options from Photomedex. All other authors have no conflicts to disclose.
The association of skin conditions with housing conditions among North Carolina Latino migrant farm workers
Article first published online: 15 MAY 2013
© 2013 The International Society of Dermatology
International Journal of Dermatology
Volume 53, Issue 9, pages 1091–1097, September 2014
How to Cite
Gustafson, C. J., Feldman, S. R., Quandt, S. A., Isom, S., Chen, H., Spears, C. R. and Arcury, T. A. (2014), The association of skin conditions with housing conditions among North Carolina Latino migrant farm workers. International Journal of Dermatology, 53: 1091–1097. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-4632.2012.05833.x
- Issue published online: 14 AUG 2014
- Article first published online: 15 MAY 2013
- National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Grant Number: R01-ES012358
Skin conditions are common among Latino migrant farm workers. Although many skin conditions are related to occupational exposures, poor housing conditions may also contribute to skin ailments in migrant farm workers.
To evaluate the association between housing conditions and skin conditions among Latino migrant farm workers.
Materials and methods
A cross-sectional study design using interview questionnaires, home inspections, and environmental sampling was implemented to document housing quality of farm worker camps/homes and the prevalence of self-reported skin conditions in Latino migrant farm workers. Interviews were completed with 371 farm workers residing in 186 of the 226 camps (camp response rate 82.3%).
Self-reported pruritus (31%), rash (25%), scaling (12%), blisters (11%), and ingrown nails (10%) were common among the participants. Pruritus was more likely to be reported by farm workers living in dwellings without air-conditioning (P < 0.05). Rash was associated with dwellings reported to have a low humidity (P < 0.05). Scaling was more likely to be reported by farm workers living in dwellings with indoor temperatures in the thermal discomfort range (P < 0.05). No statistically significant associations were detected for indoor allergens and self-reported skin ailments among migrant farm workers.
Skin conditions are common among migrant farm workers in North Carolina. The quality of housing conditions, particularly hot, dry indoor thermal environment, demonstrated significant associations with pruritus, rash, and scaling. The impact of housing characteristics on pruritus and blisters was greatest in new migrant farm workers. Further research is needed to delineate additional housing factors that could cause or exacerbate skin diseases in farm workers.