For anybody who has chronic eczema on the hands, I can sympathize with you whole heartedly. Of all the places on the body where dermatitis can occur, this has to be one of the worst.
Also known as hand eczema or hand dermatitis, this condition can seriously affect life, as your hands are used in so many daily life interactions.
The three most common types of eczema that appear on the hands are atopic dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis, and allergic contact dermatitis. Researchers believe that many cases of eczema are work related due to irritant exposure. While certain substances contribute to this skin condition, the specific causes are still unknown.
Winter months for me were agony as the cold dried out my skin, which was then prone to cracking and splitting. When I was at school some kids tried to mock me but that was because they didn’t know what it was. They noticed eczema on my hands but once I mentioned “it’s eczema and I’m treating it” they lost interest.
Some people can be cruel at times but thats just ignorance or fear on their part. At the same time we have to manage our condition as best we can. I know its tough but ignore any hurtful remarks, focus your energy on healing yourself and having happy hands once again.
That said, let's take a closer look.
Dishpan hands – Dishpan hands are a form of hand eczema. This occurs when the hands are constantly wet, which breaks down the skin’s protective outer layer. The use of dish soaps and cleansers can make hand eczema worse. To alleviate this condition, avoid getting the hands wet. Use cotton gloves around the house when doing chores and beneath rubber gloves when washing dishes.
Exposure to irritants and allergens – Certain substances can make hand eczema worse, such as latex, metals, chemicals, and skincare products. Avoid handling any known irritants and allergens without gloves.
Low humidity and cold temperatures – Because lack of moisture in the air can make hand eczema worse, use a humidifier in your house. When outdoors during cold months, wear soft, cotton gloves and avoid getting the hands wet.
Wearing rings and bracelets – When doing housework and simple chores, remove all jewelry from the hands and wrists. Irritants can become trapped underneath rings and bracelets. Also, clean your jewelry often by soaking them in a hypoallergenic solution.
If you develop hand eczema, there are a few things you can do at home to help with this skin condition. These include:
If home therapy fails, consult with a doctor regarding your hand eczema. Therapies that are prescribed include:
Topical corticosteroid creams and ointments
Substances to Avoid
Check all detergents and skin care products for the following items:
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