Eczema can cause pain and discomfort in any part of the body, but eczema on your hands can be a bigger problem. Whether eczema is caused by irritability, allergens, or genetics, there are steps you can take to help heal. One of the first things you should do is see a doctor to make sure it’s eczema. Your doctor can run tests to determine the cause of your eczema and may also recommend a variety of corticosteroid medications, antibiotics, cold compresses, and changing the products you use every day. Read on to find out how to treat eczema manually.
Manual eczema identification
Watch for signs of eczema. Eczema on the hands and fingers is a common condition. If you suspect any form of eczema, see a doctor who will help you diagnose and treat it. If you notice any of the following symptoms on your hand or fingers, it could be eczema
Assess whether eczema is caused by an irritant. Contact with irritants is the most common form of hand eczema. This form of eczema is caused by frequent and long-term contact with substances that irritate the skin. Similar irritants can include almost anything that comes into contact with the skin frequently, including detergents, chemicals, food, plastic, and even water. Symptoms of this type of eczema include:
Cracks and redness at the fingertips or in the area between the fingers
Stinging and burning on contact with irritants
Assess whether eczema is causing an allergic reaction. Some people suffer from a form of eczema called allergic contact dermatitis. In this case we are talking about eczema which is caused by allergies to substances like soaps, dyes, fragrances, rubber or even plants. Symptoms of this type of eczema often appear on the inside of the hands and fingers, but can appear on any part of the hand. Symptoms include:
Blisters, itching, swelling, and redness that appear immediately after contact with the allergen
dry, scaly and cracked skin
Darkening and/or thickening of the skin after prolonged exposure to allergens
Assess whether eczema is caused by atopic dermatitis. Eczema on the hands caused by atopic dermatitis is more common in children than in adults, but adults can also get eczema in this way. If you have the same eczema symptoms on other parts of your body like your hands, it may be atopic dermatitis. Symptoms of atopic dermatitis include:
intense itching that lasts for days or weeks
Manual eczema treatment
See a doctor for an early diagnosis. Before starting any treatment, you should consult a doctor to make sure that it is really eczema and not, for example, psoriasis or a yeast infection. Your doctor will help you determine the most appropriate treatment, or refer you to a specialist if your eczema is severe.
Ask your doctor about the test patch. To determine the cause of your eczema, your doctor may do a patch test to check for possible allergies. If you suspect eczema is caused by allergies, talk to your doctor. The results of tests performed by your doctor will help you figure out what substance is causing eczema so you can avoid it in the future.
During this test, your doctor will place a patch with a substance on your skin to find out which is causing the eczema. The test itself is not painful, but some substances can cause pain and skin irritation.
The irritant that usually causes eczema is nickel. You can also test for nickel allergy in the form of a patch.
It can be helpful to make a list of the products you use or that you visit frequently around. This list should include soaps, moisturizers, and cleaners, as well as certain substances you may come into contact with at work or at home.
Consider using 1% hydrocortisone ointment. Your doctor may advise you to take 1% hydrocortisone ointment to treat eczema. In contrast to prescriptions, ointments are available in pharmacies. Ask your doctor for help if you’re not sure what to look for.
Most hydrocortisone ointments are intended for use on damp skin, for example after bathing or washing hands. Follow the directions on the package or as directed by your doctor carefully.
In some cases, stronger topical corticosteroids are needed, but a prescription is required.
Use a cold compress to relieve itching. Eczema often causes intense itching, but it is very important not to scratch it. Scratching can only strain and injure your skin, which can lead to infection. If you have itchy eczema, use a cold compress to soothe it.
If you want to use a cold compress, wrap it in a towel or, if using ice, put it in a sachet to avoid frostbite.
Women can “do their nails” too. You won’t want to ruin your beautiful nails, so you won’t even be scratching them yourself.
Consider taking an oral antihistamine. In some cases, oral antihistamines can help, but they are only available by prescription. However, keep in mind that these medications can cause drowsiness and are therefore not recommended if you are busy. Call your doctor who will tell you if an antihistamine is right for you.
Ask your doctor if you need to take antibiotics. Eczema, with blisters, cracks, or other skin lesions, can sometimes lead to infection. If your skin is red, hot, swollen, painful, or doesn’t respond to eczema treatment, you may have an infection. To be safe, see your doctor, who can prescribe antibiotics if treatment is needed.
Don’t take antibiotics unless your doctor tells you to. Taking antibiotics when you don’t need them can make them less effective when you do need them.
If your doctor prescribes antibiotics, take them exactly as directed. Even if you think the infection has cleared, it is important to continue taking antibiotics to prevent the possibility of a recurrence of the infection.
Ask your doctor about prescription medications. In some cases, eczema may not respond to over-the-counter topical creams. In such cases, your doctor may prescribe systemic (not topical) corticosteroids or immunosuppressive drugs. You should not take this medication at the same time as other eczema medications because it can have negative side effects.
Talk to your doctor about local immunomodulators. If none of the treatments are working for your eczema, you can talk to your doctor about a topical immunomodulatory cream. Elidel and Protopic are prescription creams that have been shown to treat eczema. However, these medicines have a strong effect on your immune system, but they react to substances, so they can help you when no other medicine will help.
These creams are usually safe to use, however side effects can occur on rare occasions, which is why they are chosen as a last resort.
Ask your doctor about phototherapy. Phototherapy, or controlled exposure to ultraviolet radiation, works well for several skin conditions, including eczema. This method is only used when other methods have not worked, but before systemic treatment.
Treatment is effective in 60-70% of patients, but significant improvement may not occur until several months later.
Manual eczema prevention
Reduce eczema triggers. After your doctor has done your skin test, you should already know what’s causing your eczema. So you should do everything you can to avoid exposure to these triggers. Switching to a different type of detergent or meal replacement causes eczema. It is also recommended to wear gloves that create a barrier between your hands and the allergenic substance.
Choose soaps and other products that are free of strong fragrances and dyes. Hand eczema can also be caused by various dyes and fragrances found in soaps and other hygiene products. Therefore, choose products for sensitive skin or products that only contain natural ingredients. If you know a soap or moisturizer causes eczema, don’t use it.
Consider using regular petroleum jelly instead of a moisturizer. Petroleum jelly is less likely to cause a reaction and may be more effective in hydration.
Don’t wash your hands too often. While it’s important to remove irritants from your hands, frequent hand washing can make eczema worse. Therefore, avoid washing your hands unless they are dirty.
keep hands dry. Hands are often wet or damp, so there is an increased risk of manual eczema. If you spend a lot of time washing dishes or doing other things that get your hands wet, try to eliminate those activities as much as possible. For example, instead of washing your hands, you can use the dishwasher to wash the dishes, or at least wear gloves to keep your hands dry.
Dry your hands immediately after washing and make sure they are completely dry.
Take a quick shower so your hands don’t get too wet.
Wet your hands frequently. Staying hydrated is important to prevent eczema. Use a moisturizer that doesn’t irritate the skin. Ointments that are more moisturizing and reduce pain and burning when applied to irritated skin are usually best for hand eczema. Bring a small bottle of moisturizer so you can paint your hands whenever possible. Lubricate your hands every time you wash them or when they feel dry.
You may want to ask your doctor to prescribe Tetrix cream for you. This is a cream that is much more effective than an over-the-counter ointment.
Wear cotton gloves when your hands are exposed to irritants or allergens. If you can’t avoid contact with a chemical that irritates your hands, at least take cotton rubber gloves outside to protect yourself from the substance. Wear gloves when in contact with irritants.
Wash gloves thoroughly after each use. Then turn it over and hang it to dry completely before using it again.
If you need gloves for cleaning and cooking, you will have a different pair of gloves for each activity.
Do not wear the ring if your hands are exposed to allergens or irritations. Rings can make eczema worse and you don’t need to remove them later. If you wear a ring, the eczema can be more pronounced in the area under and around it. Remember that before coming into contact with an irritating substance, you must remove the ring. The same goes for washing or hydrating your hands.
Talk to your doctor about using a bleach bath to treat hand eczema. Using a very dilute solution of bleach with water can help reduce the amount of bacteria on your hands, which will help fight eczema. Of course, if bleach causes eczema, don’t use it. You should consult your doctor about using bleach to decide if it is right for you.
Remember that bleach must be diluted with plenty of water when using it on your hands. In general, about half a teaspoon in 3-4 liters of water is recommended.
Make sure the bleach doesn’t come into contact with laundry, carpet, or anything else that could damage the paint.
control stress. In some cases, eczema can also be caused by stress. To eliminate this factor, start with various relaxation exercises that you gradually incorporate into your life. Exercise every day and always find at least some time to rest. Suitable relaxation techniques include yoga, deep breathing, or meditation.