Hand eczema or contact dermatitis of the hands, both irritant and allergic, represents about 30% of occupational contact dermatitis cases and requires special care. Hand eczema is an important cause for itchy palms and could be quite troublesome.
Different Types of Hand Eczema Causing Itchy Palms
Depending upon the clinical presentations, hand eczema causing itchy palms is classified into different types. Each of these types of hand eczema has differing presentations.
Here some of the most common types of hand eczema:
- Atopic hand eczema : This type of eczema is triggered by contact with irritants and affects one or both dorsal hands and palms.
- Nummular eczema : Also called discoid eczema is a type of eczema that tends to affect the dorsal surfaces of the hands and fingers.
- Vesicular hand eczema : Also known as pompholyx is a type of eczema that affects the palms and the sides of the hands and fingers in the form of intensely itchy crops of skin-coloured blisters.
- Fingertip eczema : Fingertip eczema can be isolated to one or several fingers.
Tips on How to Get Rid of Itchy Palms Caused by Hand Eczema
The treatment of itchy palms caused by hand eczema or contact dermatitis of the hands involves more of preventive measures on the part of the sufferer rather than curative steps.
Some of those preventive measures to consider are as follows:
- Use a moisturizing hand cream, for exmple, Sebamed hand + nail balm many times a day, to keep the skin moist.
- When eczema is present, apply topical steroids according to the severity of the eruptions, as directed by your doctor.
- Washing hands: Avoid too much washing. In the kitchen, do the wet chores simultaneously. Use lukewarm water and soap substitutes for washing. Dry the hand thoroughly after washing and apply the moisturizer immediately.
- Avoid contact with detergent concentrates. Always dilute them before washing utensils.
- Avoid soaps with fragrance and containing tar, sulfur or salicylic acid.
- If you are exposed to irritants like industrial oils, detergents or other chemicals, always use gloves to handle them. Avoid rubber gloves; use plastic gloves with cotton lining inside.
- While cooking, if you have to cut irritants like garlic, put them in water first (after removing the outer cover), apply cooking oil to your hands, then proceed with the cutting.
- While washing utensils in the kitchen, use a long handled brush and use plastic gloves as described above. Better still, get a dish washer if you suffer from hand eczema.
- If you drive a lot, always use a sunblock cream with SPF 100 to the back of your hands.
- Avoid applying hair products, including shampoos and gels, with your bare hands. Always use gloves if you have hand eczema.
- Do not peel citrus fruits like lemon and orange with your bare hands.
- Avoid contact with any type of polish – shoe, window, car and furniture.
- Avoid contact with solvents like petrol, xylene etc. These run through rubber gloves, hence use vinyl gloves for these jobs.
- Wear thick cotton gloves during cold weather.
- Add water softeners to your washing water; this will reduce the quantity of soap and detergents required for cleansing.
- If you use nail polish removers, always apply moisturizers beforehand to the surrounding skin and take care to apply the remover only to the nails.
- Individuals with hand eczema are at risk of secondary infection, hence should wear protective gloves while cleansing soiled clothes, toilets etc.
- If there is inflammation and throbbing pain, consult your doctor for a prescription antibiotic.
- Individuals with hand eczema should avoid handling food, as the bacteria present on the hands can cause food poisoning.
- Apply copious amounts of barrier creams during your daily chores to avoid contact with potential irritants.
- Finally, be aware of the foods to avoid for eczema. The most common foods that cause or trigger eczema symptoms include wheat, cows’ milk, soya, eggs, fish, and nuts.
If you follow the above tips on how to get rid of hand eczema, your itchy palms or hands will get better and your skin will once again regain the lost resilience and softness.
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