Hand eczema (also called hand dermatitis) is a very common condition that can start with mild symptoms such as redness, dryness, and itching, and get more severe with symptoms including scaling, cracks and crusting, itchy bumps, swelling, or blisters filled with fluid.
Hand eczema may affect the backs and/or palms of one or both hands and can spread to other body areas. It can become very painful and disabling for some people, interfering with their ability to perform at work or at home.
The symptoms of hand eczema can appear, go away for a while, and then come back (this is called recurrent hand eczema).
As many as 15 million Americans are estimated to have some form of eczema—including hand eczema.1
What causes hand eczema?
Hand eczema may result from a combination of causes, including:
- Being born with a tendency to develop hand eczema (especially if one or both of your parents have had it)
- An allergic reaction to product ingredients or substances you touch (called triggers)
- Exposure to daily irritants such as chemicals, cleaning products, dyes, fragrances, paint solvents, latex, or other substances used at home or at work
Hands at work
Doctors, nurses, dentists, lab technicians, construction workers, hair stylists, mechanics, dishwashers, plant workers, food handlers, gardeners, fishermen, plumbers, painters, homemakers, childcare workers, and parents of infants—just to name a few—often develop hand eczema. The culprit? Frequent hand washing and irritants.
See your doctor for help
Your doctor will most likely examine your hands, ask questions about your family history, and try to identify irritants that are triggering your hand eczema.
If you are diagnosed with hand eczema, your doctor may prescribe medication to treat your signs and symptoms and/or suggest changes in your daily routine. Limiting contact with known irritants can be a big help—but that isn't always possible. That's why your doctor may also prescribe a product that is proven to protect your hands from irritants—like Tetrix™ Cream.
While there is no cure for hand eczema, with proper treatment—and effective protection against irritants—you should be able to control it.
Reference: 1. Academy of Family Physicians. Eczema: tips on how to care for your skin
Accessed April 2, 2008.