Understanding Hand Eczema: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Hand eczema, also known as dermatitis on the hands, is an inflammatory condition that causes itchy blisters and rashes on the palms of the hands or fingers. It is one of the most common types of eczema (dermatitis) and can be triggered by exposure to irritating substances, such as alcohol, bleach, cleansers, solvents, or allergens like perfume or certain plants. Symptoms include dry, itchy and reddened skin that affects the entire hand, including the fingers, as well as cracking, pain, bleeding and blisters. In severe cases, hands can become swollen and painful, making it difficult to perform daily tasks. Allergic eczema of the hands (allergic contact dermatitis of the hands) arises as a result of an allergic reaction to a particular substance in the environment.

Your doctor can also help you identify behaviors or practices that may be contributing to hand eczema and help you find ways to modify or avoid them. Using hot water to wash your hands can also lead to a decrease in essential oils, which, in turn, can also trigger an outbreak of eczema. It works by reducing inflammation associated with eczema and by buffering the immune system's response. Hand eczema is more common in people with a history of atopic eczema and those who have frequent contact with water and chemicals. Knowing which substances trigger eczema of the hands and protecting your hands at home and at work can help protect the skin against further irritation. Dermatitis and eczema are often used to describe a number of skin conditions that consist of red, dry patches of skin and rashes.

If you think a substance at home or at work is causing eczema on your hands, your doctor may do a “patch test” to see what allergens or irritants may be the problem. Nummular eczema can be triggered by a reaction to an insect bite or by an allergic reaction to metals or chemicals. Treating eczema (atopic dermatitis) can be difficult if the cause is something that cannot be controlled, such as genetics. Although some types of dermatitis are painful (contact dermatitis, for example) or cause a burning sensation, eczema often causes itching. The FDA has approved JAK inhibitors to treat atopic dermatitis (eczema), but they come with serious warnings. There is another specific type of hand eczema called pomfolix or dyshidrotic eczema, which causes small, itchy blisters to appear on the palms of the hands.

Knowing how to recognize the signs and symptoms of hand eczema, understanding its causes and triggers, and learning how to prevent it are all important steps in managing this condition. Your doctor can help you identify potential triggers for hand eczema, such as certain soaps or detergents. They can also recommend treatments such as topical creams or ointments that can help reduce inflammation and itching. In some cases, oral medications may be prescribed to reduce inflammation. In addition to medical treatments for hand eczema, there are several lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your risk of developing this condition. These include avoiding contact with irritants or allergens that may trigger an outbreak; wearing gloves when working with water or chemicals; using mild soaps; avoiding hot water when washing your hands; using moisturizers regularly; and avoiding scratching your skin.

Riya Hutchings
Riya Hutchings

On a quest to combat Contact Dermatitis!