What is hand eczema?
Hand eczema, also known as hand dermatitis, is a common condition that affects about 10% of the U.S. population. Both genetics and contact allergens and irritating substances play a role in “triggering” this form of eczema. It often affects people who work in cleaning, catering, hairdressing, healthcare and mechanical jobs where they may come into contact with chemicals and other irritants.
Take a luxurious bath
A long soak in the tub might sound fantastic—but if you have atopic dermatitis, spending too long in the bathtub can leave your skin feeling itchy and red. The next time you turn on the tap, remember the Goldilocks rule: the water should be not too hot, not too cold, but a lukewarm medium. Ideally, you’ll also limit your soak to no longer than 15 minutes a day, says Dr. High. “We tell people to take good care of their skin by doing gentle bathing and not over-drying the skin,” he says.
Wash with anything besides fragrance-free soaps
Similar to scented laundry detergents, scented hand soaps, bubble baths, body washes, and lotions can all cause your skin to feel dry and itchy. Use bland soaps, not highly perfumed or scented soaps.
Eat trigger foods
Although the majority of eczema flare-ups aren’t caused by a person’s diet, there may be occasional cases where atopic dermatitis is exacerbated by food or drinks. To pinpoint what might be triggering your flare, try keeping track of your daily routine (including meals) in a journal. By looking back at your past entries, you might be able to identify the culprits. For example, if you and your doctor think that milk is causing a flare, you might want to eliminate it from your diet while working with a nutritionist to help shore up your intake with other calcium-rich foods.
Apart from above long remedies, you can also go with the shorter ones.
If you need to clean your hands, wash them with lukewarm (not hot) water and fragrance-free cleanser.
Gently blot hands dry, and apply a moisturizer immediately after you wash your hands.
The most effective moisturizers are the ones with a higher oil content (like ointments and creams). Keep one near every sink in your home, so you don’t forget to apply it after washing your hands.
If sanitizing your hands isn’t necessary, try a water less hand washing method: use the same cleanser, but without any water and then gently blot off any excess cleanser when you’re done.
Avoid waterless, antibacterial cleansers, which often contain ingredients like alcohol and solvents that are very hard on your hands (especially during flare-ups).
Keep cotton gloves around the house to protect your hands while you do chores, like folding the laundry. When the gloves become dirty, be sure to wash them using fragrance-free, dye-free detergent.
If your fingertips aren’t affected by eczema, you can cut the tips off of your cotton gloves so that they’re more comfortable to wear in warm weather.