Hand Dermatitis – Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

March 25 01:18 2019 Print This Article

Dermatitis (eczema) is an inflammatory condition which causes the skin to be red, scaly and very itchy. In coloured skin this may be more purple than red or even just a deepening of the skin colour. Hand dermatitis often results from a combination of causes, including genetic makeup (constitutional factors), injury (contact with irritants) and allergy. It is frequently caused or aggravated by work, when it is known as occupational dermatitis. This disease is commonly found in people involved in the work of catering, cleaning, health care and mechanical work. People having a skin which is not tough enough are more prone to dermatitis. People suffering from hand dermatitis may have dermatitis elsewhere and their blood relatives might also be suffering from it. Although one may not be having a tough skin but treatments are available to cure it. Frequent immersion of hands in water is the most common factor which leads to dermatitis. The problem becomes more intense if the skin gets exposed to solvents and detergents as they strip the skin of its natural protective layer.

Hand dermatitis is common. Hand rashes usually result from a combination of sensitive skin and irritation or an allergic reaction from materials touched. People with hand dermatitis often have dermatitis elsewhere, and frequently blood relatives have hand dermatitis. Some people are more prone to hand dermatitis. There is often a personal or family history of asthma, eczema or hay fever (atopy). These people often have had, or have Dermatitis at other sites such as the elbows, behind the knees, the face or feet. Some patients have a personal or family history of psoriasis (a relatively common skin disorder causing red scaly patches on the elbows, knees and scalp). Emotional stress can make the condition worse. Hand dermatitis varies in severity. It may affect the backs of the hands, the palms or both sites. Often it starts as a mild intermittent complaint, but it can become increasingly severe and persistent. The affected skin initially becomes red and dry, then progresses to itchy papules (bumps) and fluid-filled blisters (vesicles), scaling, cracking (fissures), weeping (exudation) and swelling (oedema). Bacterial infection can result in pustules, crusting and pain. Longstanding dermatitis at the ends of the fingers may result in deformed nails. Hand dermatitis can spread to affect other sites, particularly the forearms and feet.

Causes of Hand Dermatitis

Find common causes and risk factors of Hand Dermatitis:

  • Cold weather causing low humidity and drying out make Hand dermatitis worse.
  • It is not contagious that is not transferable from one person to other by mere touching.
  • Hand dermatitis may be caused by contact with an irritant or an allergic reaction to a substance.
  • Genetically predisposed to hand dermatitis is also found in some people.
  • Hand dermatitis is most often caused by detergents, certain types of metals, soaps, strong chemicals, and solvents that, either immediately or after repeated exposure, irritate the skin.
  • Certain types of fungal infections such as tinea pedis can also cause hand dermatitis.

Signs and Symptoms of Hand Dermatitis

Sign and symptoms may include the following:

  • Pustules, crusting and pain.
  • Sensitivity.
  • Blister.

Treatment for Hand Dermatitis

Treatment may include:

  • Cortisone ointments are generally used to treat severe cases of hand dermatitis.
  • Prescribed medicines and lubricants should be used. Topical steroids and oral or topical antibiotics are the common medicine that are generally prescribed.
  • Use only the prescribed medicines and lubricants. Do not use other lotions, creams, or medications they may irritate your skin.
  • A natural treatment such as Epitrex can help eliminate flare-ups.
  • Use vinyl gloves to protect hands, which are less allergic than rubber gloves. Always make sure the gloves are scrupulously clean inside.
  • Ultra violet light therapy: This may also be used for the treatment of severe cases of Hand dermatitis.
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