Hand Dermatitis - About Hand Dermatitis

Published: 12th March 2008
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Hand Dermatitis is basically a skin disease typical to youth, but Hand Dermatitis may occur to the people at any age. 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. 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.

We have provided you here all symptoms, causes and treatment methods of Hand Dermatitis.

Causes of Hand Dermatitis

Genes: A tendency to develop skin reactions or a certain type of eczema is often inherited.

Allergy: An allergic reaction occurs when the body's immune system overreacts to something that does not cause everyone's immune system to overreact. Common allergens (substances that cause an allergic reaction) that lead to hand dermatitis include nickel, Balsam of Peru (added to fragrances, foods, and skin care products), rubber, and topical vitamin E.

Irritation: With repeat use or short but heavy exposure, numerous everyday items can irritate skin. Water is probably the most common irritant. Frequent hand washing or immersing the hands in water too often can remove protective oils from the skin. When the oils are removed faster than they can be replaced, the skin becomes less pliable and more susceptible to hand eczema.

Poor glove hygiene: Wearing gloves can protect the skin from substances found in the workplace and while working around the home. However, slipping gloves on and off may allow irritants or allergens to get inside the gloves. This can trigger a flare-up. If this occurs, be sure to talk with a dermatologist about best practices for wearing gloves.

Symptoms of Hand Dermatitis include:

1) Mild, itchy rash to severe itching, swelling, and blistering

2) Irritant contact dermatitis usually affects the top of the hand, often appearing as dry, chapped skin around the knuckles and tops of the fingers

3) When hand dermatitis is caused by a fungal infection, the symptoms include itchy blisters along the sides of the fingers.

4) If caused by metals, the irritation appears under a ring

5) Allergic contact dermatitis also usually appears on the top of the hand and around the fingers.

6) 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).

Treatment of Hand Dermatitis

Methods for Treating Hand Dermatitis are:

• Where possible, avoid wet-work and contact with irritants.

• Protect your hands using vinyl gloves, which are less likely than rubber to cause allergic reactions. Don't wear these for long periods, as sweating will also aggravate dermatitis. Always make sure the gloves are scrupulously clean inside.

• Use emollients frequently. A thin smear of a thick barrier cream should be applied to all affected areas before work, and reapplied after washing and whenever the skin dries out.

• Your doctor will prescribe topical steroids to reduce inflammation. These come in various strengths and should only be applied to areas of active dermatitis once or twice daily. Generally a potent topical steroid is used for several weeks.

• If your dermatitis is infected, your doctor will prescribe a topical or oral antibiotic such as flucloxacillin for about a week.

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