Monk's moments: Occupational health
In times gone by, it was often possible to tell what a patient’s job was by the occupational marks on their skin – the coal dust tattooed into the skin (colliers’ stripes) of the miner or the presternal bursa of the bootmaker, for example. Many traditional industries have vanished and are now remembered by surnames such as Fuller, Fletcher, Wainwright and Salter. Towns and cities also used to be identifiable by their traditional trades but are now recalled by the old nicknames of their football teams: The Cobblers (Northampton Town) and The Hatters (Luton Town); incidentally, the term ‘mad as a hatter’ derives from chronic mercury poisoning, which was a notorious hazard of preparing felt for use in hat-making.
Dermatology in practice 2013; 19(4): 18–18
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