Hand eczema or hand dermatitis is a very common form of eczema, in fact, up to 10% of the population suffers from this type of eczema. Those with a genetic predisposition are more likely to get hand eczema, however it forms as a results of contact with allergens or irritating substances like chemicals. Hand eczema can take a few months for a flare-up to clear. Even if hands appear eczema-free, an eczema sufferer will need to take special care with them to avoid a return of symptoms.
Symptoms of hand eczema:
- Dryness, to the point of peeling and flaking
- Cracks in the skin
What can you do to help control hand eczema?
Ensure you know which substances trigger hand eczema so that you can avoid them and prevent further irritation. The most important thing to remember is to be consistent with a daily routine for care and control.
Some things you can do to help control your hand eczema:
- If you need to clean your hands, wash them with lukewarm (not hot) water and fragrance-free cleanser.
- Gently dab hands dry, and apply a moisturiser immediately after you wash your hands.
- The most effective moisturisers are the ones with a higher oil content (like ointments and creams).
- Avoid waterless, antibacterial cleansers, which often contain ingredients like alcohol and solvents.
- Keep cotton gloves around the house to protect your hands while you do chores, wash them only using fragrance-free, dye-free detergent.
- Use gloves when your hand are in contact with any chemical product or substance, also when you’re doing work with foods like potatoes, onions, peppers, meat, or acidic fruits (like tomatoes, or citrus), use disposable gloves that you can throw away once you’re finished.
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