Information presented at American Academy of Dermatology’s 70th Annual Meeting by Anthony F. Fransway, MD, FAAD, of Ft. Myers, Fla.
Whether you play a musical instrument in your school band, as a weekend hobby, or as a professional, you may be at risk for a common skin condition. Contact dermatitis is characterized by a rash that can occur anywhere on the body (typically the hands and face in musicians) and is caused by something that comes into contact with the skin, which makes the skin become red, scaly and inflamed. Contact dermatitis can be caused by an irritant or an allergy. Metals, skin care products and cosmetics are common culprits for allergic contact dermatitis, but musical instruments pose a potential hazard due to some of the components of the instruments that come into contact with the skin.
Brass instruments (flute, trombone, trumpet, tuba)
Woodwind instruments (bassoon, clarinet, oboe, saxophone). A variety of specific allergens are responsible for irritant contact dermatitis in these musicians.
String instruments (cellos, violas, violins). The composition of these instruments and products used with these instruments may contain allergens that can cause contact dermatitis in musicians.
“Musicians spend so much time seeking perfection in their chosen media that the musical instrument becomes an extension of their physical bodies,” said Dr. Fransway. “Occasionally, like the rest of one’s anatomy, those body parts have issues that can result in medical conditions — such as contact dermatitis — that require proper treatment. A dermatologist can identify the appropriate measures to rectify the problem and restore harmony.”
Headquartered in Schaumburg, Ill., the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), founded in 1938, is the largest, most influential, and most representative of all dermatologic associations. With a membership of more than 17,000 physicians worldwide, the Academy is committed to: advancing the diagnosis and medical, surgical and cosmetic treatment of the skin, hair and nails; advocating high standards in clinical practice, education, and research in dermatology; and supporting and enhancing patient care for a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. For more information, contact the Academy at 1 (888)-462-DERM (3376) or visit www.aad.org. Follow the Academy on Facebook (American Academy of Dermatology) or Twitter (@AADskin).