Simple Tips On How To Live With Hand Eczema
What is hand eczema?
It is an inflammatory condition whose common symptoms are itching, redness, blisters, cracks, pain and dryness which can even lead to flaking and peeling. It results from both external and internal factors. External factors are contact with allergens and irritants and internal factors usually are our genetic composition. This condition is also commonly known as hand dermatitis. It is generally noticed in people involved in mechanical work, cleaning, hairdressing, catering and healthcare. Though it is not contagious, it can affect the self esteem and social life of an individual to a great extent.
Different types of hand dermatitis
It has been seen that most of us suffer from mild hand eczema like chapping or drying throughout our life. This condition is commonly seen in females. Hand dermatitis can be of various types namely;
Hyperkeratotic and dry palmer eczema.
Focal palmer peeling.
Apron eczema, etc.
Simple tips to protect our hands
Whether we stay at home or go for work outside if we follow these simple steps we can definitely give our hands a better protection.
If you are suffering from hand dermatitis then you should always avoid washing our hands every now and then.
Keep away from soaps having preservatives and perfumes which are seen to worsen the condition.
Whenever you are washing your hands use lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser which is perfume free. Immediately dry your hands and apply moisturizer, preferably petroleum jelly.
Avoid antibacterial or waterless sanitizers as they worsen the condition.
While doing the household chores always put on cotton gloves. And while handling water cover it with neoprene or unlined vinyl gloves which are powder free. For outdoor tasks put on leather gloves.
Vinyl gloves that are disposable must be used while cleaning meat, cutting onion, peeling potatoes or handing pepper and citrus fruits.
If you wear a ring on a regular basis remove it while doing the daily chores.
See that you don’t put on a waterproof glove for more than 20 minutes at a go.
Wear leather or heavy fabric gloves for any kind of dry work.
Do not use industrial cleansers to wash your hands especially if your condition is flaring up.
Always carry your personal hand cleanser, medications and moisturizer to work.
If you are working in a factory always keep your work clothes and surroundings clean to avoid contact with irritants which can aggravate the problem.
Always bandage even the minor hand wounds so that the allergens and irritants don’t get easy access into the skin.
Curing the condition
In order to cure hand eczema you need to follow the following steps;
Firstly see a physician to diagnose the type of hand dermatitis you are suffering from and to decide on the line of treatment.
Application of a corticosteroid cream is suggested everyday to speed up the healing process and treat the cracks and dryness.
After applying the cream wrap your hands in a moistened washcloth to minimize the blistering and itching.
You can also take an antihistamine to reduce the itching sensation of your hands.
Keep your hands dry and always apply moisturizer on them.
Stay away from harmful chemical based and perfumed products.
Try to add more moisture in your surroundings by using a humidifier, especially in the winter season.
Unfortunately there is no easy solution to cure hand eczema; it can take around few months. But continue taking good care of your hands for about a year even if they seem to be cured.