Hand Eczema: Causes and treatments 

Hand eczema is often mistaken as a simple case of dry skin. Both can present as dry, rough, chapped skin on the hands. However, unlike dry skin, hand eczema can be a little tougher to treat.

Hand eczema can present in any of the following ways: 

  • Dry, chapped skin (often the first sign)
  • Patches of red (or dark brown) irritated skin
  • Scaly and inflamed skin that may itch
  • Burning sensation
  • Itchy blisters
  • Deep, painful cracks
  • Bleeding or weeping skin
  • Crusts, pus, and pain

Aside from looking unsightly, hand eczema it can be very uncomfortable and affect your ability to carry out your daily activities. Relief can be achieved, but first you need to determine what the cause it.  Hand eczema is often caused by irritants such as chemicals, solvents, detergents. Some health care workers develop hand eczema from wearing latex gloves. If your hands are often wet or in water that can also be the culprit. Cold weather and dry air can exacerbate the condition.

You also have a higher risk of developing hand eczema if you had atopic dermatitis (often called eczema) as a child.

Because so many things can cause hand eczema, finding the cause can be tricky. Until you find the cause and avoid it, hand eczema can worsen. 

 Once you know what’s causing your hand eczema, treatment can bring relief. Treatment includes avoid what’s causing the condition. Corticosteroid creams or ointments can help to reduce the symptoms and adding a barrier repair cream can help to heal your hands faster. 

Once your hands are healed you should continue to avoid the cause of your hand eczema and keep your hands well moisturized with a barrier repair cream. 

With preventive measures and treatment treating when a new onset occurs,  most people with hand dermatitis recover completely.

If you are suffering from hand eczema and would like to schedule an appointment with our Del Mar dermatology practice, contact us. 

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