Hand Eczema? How to Protect Your Hands

Eczema is a common skin condition in which the skin gets itchy, scales and develops a rash. As it becomes increasingly itchier and scratching persists, the eczema worsens. Eczema resembles patches of red, dry skin with associated scaling and itching. Although eczema can occur in folds of skin all over the body, it is most common on the hands and feet. Hand eczema can be very irritating.

Keep the Hands Dry

Work around the house or at work that requires a lot of hand washing may contribute to hand eczema. A way that may help to keep the hands dry is to wear protective or cotton gloves, as plastic gloves might make the hands sweat. Try not to touch fruits and vegetables like onions or oranges directly when cleaning or cutting. Instead of washing the dishes, use a dishwasher if it's an option. When washing hands or washing items, try to remove all rings from the fingers if possible, as moisture gets trapped around the rings and may worsen hand eczema. Try to avoid chlorinated water and salt water, as these can irritate the skin and make the situation worse.

Avoid Irritating Soaps or Lotions and Hot Water

Try to use mild unscented soaps or lotions with no known irritants. Unscented moisturizers can help to keep the integrity of the skin. Whenever possible, use lukewarm water rather than hot water.

Keep Chemicals off Hands

If abrasive cleansers or detergents are being used to wash clothes or to clean the home, use protective gloves. Avoid letting any of the chemicals come in contact with the skin. Be cautious with paints and paint thinners. Hair sprays and hair coloring could irritate the hands and make eczema worse.

Protect the Hands from Cold Weather

Try to keep the hands warm without sweating when outside in cold weather, as this could worsen hand eczema. Cold air can dry out the skin, aggravating any scales or rashes of the hands.

Avoid Physical Trauma to the Hands

The physical trauma from scratching the hands could worsen the situation. Protect the hands from eczema by avoiding gloves or other items that are made up of woolen fibers. Even simple chores as gardening without gloves can worsen this sort of condition.

Avoid Foods or Drinks that Aggravate the Hand Eczema

Hands can be protected by avoiding food or drinks that aggravate the eczema such as milk, wheat, chocolate, tomatoes, eggs, peanuts and seafood. Food additives may also aggravate it more. Drinking an adequate amount of water will keep the skin hydrated and in a more optimal condition.

Avoid Emotional Stress

Moments and times of stress worsen hand eczema. Get a lot of rest and relaxation and work toward a healthy emotional well-being to avoid outbreaks.

Keeping the skin moisturized with unscented creams or lotions and avoiding scratching will help the hand eczema to go away. Always follow the advice and instructions of the dermatologist with regards to the proper application of ointments, and for the correct care and treatment.

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