Hand Eczema – Why It Occurs and What the Treatment Is



Many people suffer from eczema, which can occur in different areas of the body. These are a type of dermatosis, they are treatable, but we have special difficulties with hand eczema.

What triggers hand eczema?

Sometimes hand eczema can be acute or chronic, and during diagnosis, it can be established to have been caused by several irritants simultaneously.

Main factors responsible for hand eczema include:

Work environment irritants

These include various chemicals or materials used in the manufacture of workwear, such as gloves. Because hands are washed frequently, the protective barrier may be compromised, leading to skin sensitization.


When performing a skin allergy test, it may show the presence of atopic dermatitis, and this will help in successful and proper treatment.

Sweat gland dysfunction

Sometimes the change in the functions of the sweat glands also provokes eczema. Such dermatosis is referred to as dyshidrotic. The condition can worsen especially when sweating, during the summer months, after a sauna or after wearing gloves.

Infectious diseases

In order to diagnose possible infectious diseases, additional tests are performed. Eczema can be caused by scabies, hand-foot-and-mouth disease as a result of enterovirus infection, shingles, local staphylococcal infection and others.

Ionizing rays

The cause of eczema is sometimes ionizing radiation, the effect of which causes radiodermatitis. It is not uncommon for cancers, the form of which initially resembles inflammatory skin irritation.

The localization of eczema helps to make an accurate diagnosis. For example, if it is caused by an allergy, it will cover a larger area, and if it is caused by a chemical irritant, it will be in a place that has been in contact with the irritant.

What treatment can be administered for hand eczema?

Treating hand eczema is not easy. It can cause constant symptoms on the fingers, wrists, or anywhere on the hands. Usually at an early stage the skin becomes dry, and then peeling and itching are expected, even blisters and painful rhagades.

Chronic forms do not always respond to the typical treatment because the action of local remedies is hampered by frequent washing and daily activities.

According to the recommendations of the dermatologist, the treatment can be applied in several ways:

Limiting provoking factors

If the eczema is an acute irritant or allergic contact dermatitis, it is good to avoid the provoking factor, and if that’s not possible, protective clothing is mandatory.

Topical medication

At the discretion of the dermatologist, emollient creams, ointments, or lotions may be used to treat dryness. As special moisturizers, emollients do not contain as many irritating ingredients as ordinary cosmetic lotions and creams. They are always used after bathing and at least twice throughout the day.

Topical anti-inflammatory medications reduce itching and redness. Their use can be stopped when the eczema is under control, and only moisturizers can be used.

Oral therapy

Oral therapy may be used to control itching and inflammation in eczema, depending on the severity and cause of the condition. It can be vitamin, using anti-allergic drugs to normalize the functions of the digestive system, microbial, and others.

Hand eczema cannot be permanently cured due to its chronic nature with periods of exacerbation. However, it is not impossible to achieve stable remission with proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

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