Eczema is a skin condition that can cause painful, itchy symptoms. Hands are a common location for eczema to manifest. If you have hand eczema, you may suffer from peeling skin, redness, irritation, or even blisters due to the condition. There is no cure for eczema, but you can take steps to minimize its effect. Here are four things you can do to relieve eczema on your hands:
1. Patch test new products.
Certain products can cause your hand eczema to flare up if you are sensitive to their ingredients. Allergies and skin sensitivities can both provoke hand eczema. Whenever you purchase a new hand care product, you should do a small patch test before applying it normally. To do a patch test, take a small amount of the product and spread it on the inside of your wrist or elbow. These locations are ideal since the skin there is very sensitive. Reapply the product to that spot once or twice a day for a week. If you have not suffered an allergic reaction at the end of that week, the product should be safe to use on your hands.
2. Minimize handwashing.
Doctors recommend that people wash their hands several times a day to prevent the spread of germs. However, if you have hand eczema, you will need to balance the need to reduce germs with your need to avoid irritating the skin on your hands. Take steps to keep your hands clean so you can wash them less often. Use gloves whenever it's reasonable to do so. Nitrile gloves can protect your hands from germs, chemicals, and food residue when you're cooking or cleaning.
3. Use a quality moisturizer.
Moisturizer is an important part of any skincare routine. It's especially important for anyone who suffers from eczema, which can be exacerbated by dryness. Use a high quality moisturizer regularly to keep your hands hydrated. Some people find that fragrances irritate their skin and worsen their eczema, so you should look for a bland moisturizer that is unscented.
4. Avoid allergens.
Allergens come in many forms. You may be allergic to certain plants, foods, or even laundry detergents. You should avoid allergens whenever possible, since allergic reactions can cause eczema blisters to form. If you know you're allergic to certain foods or plants, try to avoid touching them. Wash your hands promptly if you do come into contact with any allergens to minimize the effects.
For more hand eczema information, talk to your doctor.