European Journal of Dermatology


Skin diseases in musicians Volume 25, numéro 5, September-October 2015


1 Department of Occupational Diseases
Paris University Hospital, Centre COCHIN, AP-HP
27 rue du Fb St Jacques 75014 Paris, France
2 Rehabilitation – Evaluation - Reintegration (RER)
Department of Occupational Health and Reintegration
104 Boulevard Raymond Poincaré
92380 Garches
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Instrumental musicians are a risk group for skin diseases. A systematic review was performed on Pubmed database and in the musical literature. Most publications on dermatoses in musicians are case reports. The exact prevalence of skin diseases in musicians is unknown but high rates have been reported. The most at-risk musicians are percussionists, string and wind instrumentalists. Repeated physical trauma is a frequent cause of skin conditions in musicians (callosities, fiddler's neck syndrome…). The allergens most often reported in musicians’ allergic contact dermatitis are metals (nickel, dichromate), exotic woods and cane reed components, colophony and propolis.

The key preventive measures are early management of the skin disease, specific tests and avoidance of the causative allergens, together with better adjustment of playing techniques to reduce trauma.