Long‐term use of hand‐held vibratory tools has been implicated in the development of a clinical condition known under several names including occupational Raynaud's phenomenon, vibration‐induced white finger (VWF) disease, and “dead” or “wax” finger. The syndrome is characterized in its early stages by tingling, numbness, or blanching of the finger tips provoked usually by exposure to cold temperatures; later these symptoms may extend to the base of all of the digits on both hands. As vibration exposure continues, the attacks become more frequent and cause manual impairment and social disability. This complex of VWF and associated arterial and related complications is now termed vibration syndrome (VS). Although epidemiologic studies indicate that large percentages of the population of workers at greatest risk are affected, the acceptance of VS as an industrial disease is only recent. This paper reviews some of the salient features of VS from the point of view of the dermatologist, since he may be the first health professional to see patients with this syndrome. Terminology, risk factors, preventative measures, therapy, and occupational guidelines are discussed.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 1985
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