Abstract


Carpet hand-weaving is an important industry in Iran. The repetitive trauma to hands in this occupation produces typical nodules and plaques. The skin lesions from 150 carpet weavers are reported. The characteristic carpet nodule is clinically and histologically described


Introduction


Carpet hand-weaving is a common practice in countries such as Iran, China, Turkey, India, and Pakistan. In Iran, hand woven carpets are produced in home-based workshops categorized as informal small-scale industry. The work is often organized around families and done in homes [1].


Hand-woven carpets are the most important Iranian non-oil export and this industry has an outstanding place in the country's economy with a share of 1 percent in the GNP [2]. In Iran nearly 2.2 million full time and part time weavers are working [3] and about 8.5 million people directly or indirectly live on the hand-woven carpet industry [4].


Carpet weaving is one of the most tedious professions, requiring long hours of static work (Fig. 1). It can be a high-risk occupation for developing musculoskeletal and nerve injury, such as carpel tunnel syndrome [5]. Radjabi reported that the repeated tying of knots with non-ergonomic hand tools can result in swollen finger joints, arthritis, and neuralgia, causing permanent deformity of the fingers [6]. Injuries of the soft tissue, wrists, and median nerve are common [7, 8, 9].


Material and methods


In this study one hundred and fifty weavers from twenty active weaving workshops in several rural and urban districts of Yazd province in the central area of Iran were surveyed and examined by a dermatologist. A questionnaire was developed to collect required data from each weaver. The questionnaire consisted of personal information, workshop conditions, and past medical history.


Results


Table 1 shows the personal characteristics of carpet weavers. The majority of weavers were female (92%) and nearly half of them were girls under sixteen years old, working more than eight hours daily.


Table 1: Some personal detail of carper weavers


Data

Mean (SD)

Min - Max

Age (year)

14(10.6)

9 55

Weight (Kg)

48.5 (11.3)

25 86

Height (cm)

158 (9.1)

135 182

Weaving experience (Years)

7.6 ( 11.7)

1 43

Daily Working hours

8.8 (2.8)

1 12


Table 2 shows the frequency of skin lesions in carpet weavers. The majority of skin lesions were on the hands. The most common lesion on weavers' hands was "carpet nodule," observed in nearly two-thirds of weavers.


Table 2: Frequency of skin lesions in carpet weavers


Skin Lesion

Number (percent)

Carpets nodule

108 (72)

Knuckle pads shape lesion

32 (21.3)

Callosity

57 (38)

Contact dermatitis

40 (26.6)

Nail deformity

8 (5.3)

Common wart

8 (5.3)

Melasma

25 (16.6)

Pityriasis versicolor

18 (12)

Acne vulgaris

38 (25.3)

Others

13 (8)