Disability pensions due to skin diseases in Swedish male construction workers were studied by linking data from pension registers and an occupational health service. Incidence rates of disability pensions for cement workers, painters and plumbers were compared with 2 control groups. A total of 623 disability pensions were granted during 4 decades of follow-up. The main diagnoses were eczema (36%) and psoriasis (49%). Pensions were mostly granted in the age range 55-64 years. Among painters, cement workers and plumbers the incidence rates for disability pensions were 33.3, 24.5 and 20.4 cases/100,000 person-years, respectively, compared with 13.7 and 9.2 cases/100,000 person-years in control groups. Relative risks were highest for eczema, and were notable for psoriasis. Attributable fractions for eczema were 90% in cement workers and painters and 75% in plumbers compared with control groups. Attributable fractions for psoriasis in the occupational groups studied were in the range 54-67%. In conclusion, eczema and psoriasis have a high impact on loss of work ability, as reflected by disability pensions.