How to Prevent and Treat Hand Eczema

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If you have hand eczema, you’re not alone. In fact, this skin condition is a common one that occurs in around 10 percent of people in the U.S. While eczema can cause itching, redness, and other symptoms, you don’t have to put up with this discomfort. There are several ways to treat eczema on hands and prevent it from flaring up. Keep the following tips in mind for effective eczema relief.


Identify and Avoid Triggers

Hand eczema typically flares up when you come into contact with a substance that triggers redness and other symptoms. If you aren’t sure what’s causing this condition to occur, pay close attention to when symptoms seem to happen. For example, you might have symptoms show up after touching certain cleaning products or other irritants. When you know what triggers this condition, avoiding these substances can help prevent hand eczema from occurring.

Use Gentle Cleansers and Soaps

Soaps and skin cleansing products that contain fragrances, alcohol, and other irritants could cause eczema on your hands to flare up. When you wash your hands, use soaps and cleansers that don’t contain these substances. Avoid using anti-bacterial hand sanitizing products, since these usually have alcohol and other irritants. Using gentle products allows you to clean your hands without having to worry about itchiness and other eczema symptoms afterwards.

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Wash Your Hands with Care

Washing your hands is an important part of preventing germs from spreading, but it can also cause you to have eczema symptoms. When you wash your hands, make sure you use lukewarm water instead of hot water. Wash with a gentle soap or cleanser, then blot your hands dry on a towel. Avoid rubbing your hands to dry them, since this can irritate your skin and cause eczema symptoms to occur.

Moisturize Your Hands

Eczema on hands can cause dryness, which can make your skin crack. Moisturizing your hands regularly can help keep them from becoming dry. You should apply moisturizer after washing your hands. Make sure you choose a moisturizer that doesn’t contain any ingredients that might irritate your skin. Ideally, you should use moisturizer containing oil, such as ointments, rather than moisturizers with a high water content. To make it easy to moisturize frequently, keep moisturizer next to your kitchen and bathroom sinks. You can also bring travel-sized moisturizers with you when you’re out and about.

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Cover Your Hands

Wear gloves when you clean your home or do other tasks that might expose you to detergents or other irritants, such as folding your laundry. Choose cotton gloves, since they’re less likely to irritate your skin compared to vinyl or rubber gloves. When you’re washing dishes or doing other tasks that require you to get your hands wet, put cotton liners inside of vinyl or rubber gloves. This helps reduce the risk of having vinyl or rubber irritate your skin. When you need to wash your gloves, use a detergent that doesn’t contain dyes or fragrances.

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Wear Disposable Gloves When Preparing Food

Certain foods, such as onions, potatoes, citrus fruits, and garlic, can trigger hand eczema symptoms. When you’re preparing these foods, wear a pair of disposable gloves. You can toss the gloves out when you’re done working with these foods, and use a new pair the next time around. If you’re unable to wear gloves while handling these kinds of foods, wash your hands afterwards to reduce the risk of having eczema occur.

Remove Your Rings

Irritants can build up under your rings, so take them off when you wash your hands or clean your home. Make sure your hands are clean and dry before putting your rings back on. You should also clean the inside of your rings regularly to remove any irritants that might be on them.

Protect Your Hands at Work

If your job involves working with irritants, wear gloves or other protective gear on your hands while you’re at work. You should also keep moisturizer handy to help prevent your hands from dryness and irritation. Keep your work surface and protective gear clean and free of substances that might cause hand eczema symptoms to occur.

Figuring out what triggers hand eczema is among the most effective ways to prevent flare-ups. While you’re working on identifying eczema triggers, putting these other tips to use can help you manage this condition. With regular moisturizing and taking simple steps to lower your exposure to irritants, your hands can stay comfortable and symptom-free on a daily basis.

Sources

  • https://nationaleczema.org/eczema/types-of-eczema/hand-eczema/
  • https://eczema.org/information-and-advice/types-of-eczema/hand-eczema/

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