Occupational and Environmental Triggers in Development of Autoimmune Cutaneous Disease

Principal Investigator: Dr. Elena Netchiporouk

Affiliation: McGill University Health Centre

Start Year: 2021

Eczema, psoriasis, and lupus are often very debilitating, autoimmune skin diseases, leading to severe symptoms, decreased quality of life, and decreased function and productivity. They are thought to arise in a genetically predisposed individual following an environmental exposure or stressor. However, little is known about the specific triggers that could be related to disease development. Adults spend a great deal of their everyday lives at work and certain jobs have concerns for possible chemical/toxin exposures which could potentially serve as a trigger to disease development. The aim of our project is to study the occupations of patients with eczema, psoriasis, and lupus and explore the associated chemical/toxin exposures related with that occupation. This will allow us to determine whether there could be a new occupational trigger responsible for disease development. In the future, this would help improve patient counselling regarding disease development, prognosis and management, and also influence workplace regulations to help increase worker protection.