Talking to mums and dads about their children’s eczema has made me realise how many adults suffer with hand eczema, or hand dermatitis. We know that eczema can be hereditary so it’s no surprise that parents of children with eczema can still suffer with eczema, hayfever and asthma themselves. Hand eczema is the most common form of eczema in adults and affects one in 20 people.

Why do I have hand eczema?

You are more likely to have hand eczema if you had eczema, hay fever, asthma as a child or your hands are in contact with known irritants on a regular basis. Common irritants for hand eczema are harsh chemicals, soaps, non-wash soaps which contain alcohol, detergents and prolonged exposure to water.

Allergens can also trigger it. Some common allergens are rubber, latex, perfumes. However, just like with our children’s eczema, sometimes we won’t be able to work out the trigger for it.

What does hand eczema look like?

Hand eczema generally has the following signs and symptoms on and between the fingers and on the hands. If you think you have eczema see your doctor for a diagnosis.

  • itching
  • redness
  • inflammation of the skin
  • blisters
  • swelling
  • cracks
  • blisters

It is also easily infected by the bacteria Staphylococcus which can make hand eczema more painful, swollen and inflamed. If you think your hand eczema has become infected see your doctor who will be able to treat the infection.

How can I treat hand eczema?

Treating hand eczema is similar to treating our children’s eczema.

  • Avoid known triggers or prepare your hands to come into contact with them

Avoiding triggers is easy to say, but if your occupation means you are coming into contact with chemical and irritants constantly, such as hairdressers, mechanics, beauticians, chefs the best thing you can do is to prepare your hands. The best way to do this is to apply a thick moisturiser regularly to your hands. Keep cotton gloves (cut the fingers off) so if it’s appropriate you can pop them on. If your line of work requires you wear rubber gloves, buy ones which are lined with cotton. When you need to wash your hands use lukewarm water and soap free wash, gently dab them dry and moisturise immediately.

  • Get yourself into a hand eczema management routine

What we get great feedback about at itchy baby co. is our hand eczema management routine. We suggest dissolving two spoonfuls of itchy baby co. natural bath soak in a bowl of lukewarm water, soak your hands for about 10 minutes, and then pat dry and immediately use our itchy baby co. natural moisturiser which will further lock in the hydration from our bath soak. If you are able to straight after moisturising pop on a pair of cotton gloves (you can cut the fingers off) and leave them on overnight. Use the same pair of gloves so they soak up some of the moisturiser which will further hydrate your hands.

This blog post was brought to you and your bub with love and care from Julia and the itchy baby co. team. X

Disclaimer: Information provided is of a general nature only, and you should always consult your medical professional

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