Occupational dermatitis among construction workers commonly occurs due to cement. The workers are involved in various activities such as mixing, pouring and spreading concrete at the construction site. Cement can cause various occupational dermatoses like allergic contact dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis, chemical burns, air-borne contact dermatitis, contact urticaria and erythroderma.


  1. To determine the common allergens causing contact dermatitis among construction workers using patch test.
  2. To determine frequency of polysensitivity to allergens among construction workers using patch test.


A tertiary care hospital-based cross sectional study among 74 construction workers with dermatoses > 18years, who attended Dermatology out-patient department were included in the study. Structured questionnaires were used to record details regarding socio-demography, history and duration of dermatoses, cement exposure and working environment. Cutaneous examination and patch test was done for all the patients


The patch test was positive in 61 (82.4%) patients and negative in 17.6% construction workers. Among the positive patch test, 59 (96.7%) were positive for the chief sensitizer potassium dichromate with a statistically significant association. Isolated potassium dichromate positivity was present in 30 workers (49.1%). Concurrent patch test positivity or polysensitivity of allergens had occurred in 31 workers (50.8%) with atlesst ≥ 2 allergen positivity among workers. We observed polysensitivity ranging from 2 allergens to a maximum of 8 allergens in our study.


Patch test is important in all the cases of cement induced dermatitis as the proportion of polysensitivity is high in these patients.