Different forms of eczema, affect different areas of the body. Hand dermatitis can affect both the palms and back side of the hands. There are several factors that may contribute to this form of eczema including: over-washing of the hands, genetics, injury contact, exposure to an allergen or other skin irritants. Let’s take a further look below.
Dyshidrotic Eczema (Dyshidrosis)
Dyshidrotic eczema is a condition that causes small, itchy blisters to develop on the hands and feet. These blisters are known as vesicles and contain small amounts of fluid. Vesicles commonly present on the fingers, toes, palms of the hands and soles of the feet. They can be extremely itchy and can lead to red, scaly patches of skin to develop around them, that can sometimes crack and become painful.
Some factors that can lead to dyshidrotic eczema include:
- Allergies including hay fever
- Being overly stressed
- When your hands are frequently in water
- Exposure to chromium, cobalt, nickel (common in people who work with cement)
There is no cure for dyshidrosis, however, it is treatable. Do not scratch at the itch. This can lead to a thickening of the skin and larger, more painful, blisters. The best way to treat this form of eczema is with a thick ointment.
Allergic Contact Hand Dermatitis
Allergic contact dermatitis is a form of hand eczema that develops when the skin has come into contact with an allergen or harmful chemical. The allergen can sometimes be difficult to identify, because the reaction can occur hours after coming into contact with it.
Here are a few common skin irritants and allergens to be aware of:
- Nickel: Jewelry, zippers, coins, buttons and other nickel containing objects. Some foods contain nickel components including: cashews, spinach, kidney beans and cocoa powder/chocolate.
- Chromates/Chromium: Dental implants, tanned leather products, matches, construction materials, green dyes in felt and textiles. Foods that contain chromates include: thyme, pepper and cloves.
- Paraphenylenediamine (PPDA): Hair dyes, cosmetics, medications, garments and other textiles. People with this allergy need to be cautious of azo dyes and folic acid found in foods including: eggs, molasses, milk, grains, kidney and liver.
- Ethyenediamine hydrochloride (EDD): This is a preservative found in: eye drops, medicated creams, industrial compounds, antibacterial creams, antifungal creams and nasal sprays.
- Rubber/Latex: Latex is a very common allergy that has caused the majority of the medical field to utilize latex free gloves. Other rubber components such as mercaptobenzothiazole and thiram, can be found in: adhesive tape, rubber bands, finger cots, rubber gloves, tubing, hoses and certain bandages.
Sometimes eczema can even affect the finger and toe nails. This can result from a child excessively sucking their thumb, exposure to chronic moisture, harsh chemicals or contact with irritants such as fragrances. If this is the case, you may want to speak to your dermatologist about any medications that might help to clear the symptoms before they get worse.
How To Treat & Prevent Hand/Feet Dermatitis
The best way to treat and prevent further eczema bouts on the hands and feet, is by implementing a proper eczema care regimen. It is important to be consistent with the routine, in order to experience maximum results. I have seen the greatest results, when the TrueLipids Ultimate Eczema Expert Kit has been used consistently for treatment.
First, it is important to avoid washing your hands in feet with harsh soaps such as antibacterial or ones that contain sulfates and fragrances. Apply the TrueLipids hydrocortisone cream and ointment after each hand washing, or at least twice per day. Although, I find it beneficial to moisturize four times per day, especially during severe flare ups. Application of the ceramide cream will help to best optimize your skin’s barrier.