Eczema associated with bryozoans is a form of occupational dermatosis caused by a living animal, involving contact eczema, occasionally associated with photosensitivity and concerning fishermen on a quasi-elective basis. This affection can prove to be extremely disabling, frequently generating disastrous social consequences, since the eviction of the responsible allergen is very often synonymous to occupational reclassification, a measure which fishermen, highly attached to their profession, have great difficulty in accepting.
Based on the description of three cases of photosensitive eczema associated with contact with the bryozoan, Alcyonidium gelatinosum, identified in fishermen from the English Channel coastline, we describe the characteristics and the specificities of this occupational dermatosis, then approach the issue of its prevention, which, unfortunately, remains limited.
Address for correspondence:
Dr Bénédicte Clin, MD
Service de Médecine du Travail et Pathologie Professionnelle,
C.H.U. Côte de Nacre 14033 CAEN Cedex – France, Tel: (33) 2 31 06 54 65
Key words: Bryozoan, contact eczema, photosensitivity, occupational dermatosis, fishermen