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Skin Conditions

Accommodation and Compliance: Skin Conditions

About Skin Conditions

The skin is the body’s largest organ and functions to protect the body from irritants. When encountering an irritant, signals are sent to the brain to isolate and destroy the irritant often causing redness, swelling, fever, and itching. In the case of some skin conditions, such as contact dermatitis, this reaction is caused when coming into contact with an external trigger. Other conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and scleroderma produce similar manifestations in response to an internal immune system trigger.

Limitations associated with skin conditions can include ultraviolet sensitivity, suppressed immune system, skin irritations, fine motor movement, temperature sensitivity, pain management, and stress management.

Skin Conditions and the Americans with Disabilities Act

The ADA does not contain a list of medical conditions that constitute disabilities. Instead, the ADA has a general definition of disability that each person must meet. A person has a disability if he/she has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having an impairment. For more information about how to determine whether a person has a disability under the ADA, see How to Determine Whether a Person Has a Disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA).

Accommodating Employees with Skin Conditions

People with skin conditions limitations from aging may develop some of the limitations discussed below, but seldom develop all of them. Also, the degree of limitation will vary among individuals. Be aware that not all people who are aging will need accommodations to perform their jobs and many others may only need a few accommodations. The following is only a sample of the possibilities available. Numerous other accommodation solutions may exist.

Questions to Consider:

  1. What limitations is the employee experiencing?
  2. How do these limitations affect the employee and the employee’s job performance?
  3. What specific job tasks are problematic as a result of these limitations?
  4. What accommodations are available to reduce or eliminate these problems? Are all possible resources being used to determine possible accommodations?
  5. Has the employee been consulted regarding possible accommodations?
  6. Once accommodations are in place, would it be useful to meet with the employee to evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodations and to determine whether additional accommodations are needed?
  7. Do supervisory personnel and employees need training?

Accommodation Ideas:

Situations and Solutions:

JAN Publications & Articles Regarding Skin Conditions

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