Eczema on your hands can be uncomfortable and frustrating. Because it  looks like dry skin, hand eczema is easily be mistaken for dry skin.

Three types of hand eczema

Although experts aren’t sure exactly what causes eczema, most believe it’s likely a combination of a person’s environment and genetics.

1. Atopic dermatitis

2. Contact dermatitis

3. Dyshidrotic eczema

In the most common type, atopic dermatitis, the immune system is triggered by something and goes into overdrive, leading to sensitive, dry skin. The problem doesn’t go away and is treatable, although incurable. Certain things, such as allergens in food, dust exposure, or weather extremes, can make symptoms worse. Like eczema that appears elsewhere on the body, symptoms of hand eczema can include red, itchy, scaly, painful hands that are dry and chapped.

Another type of hand eczema, called contact dermatitis, is linked to direct exposure to an irritating substance such as chemicals. Professionals whose hands often come in contact with chemicals are particularly at risk, such as hairdressers, cleaners, plumbers, and construction workers, as well as those who frequently wash their hands throughout the day, such as nurses.

Yet another type of hand eczema is dyshidrotic eczema. It can cause itchy blisters on the hands, fingers, feet, and toes. It’s often triggered by stress, moisture, and contact with certain metals such as nickel or cobalt.

5 Tips for helping keep hand eczema at bay

The key to both preventing and treating hand eczema is to find out what triggers it and avoid those triggers whenever possible.

  1. Limit contact with water, especially water that is hot and soapy. Wash dishes in a dishwasher if possible and clean hands with lukewarm water and fragrance-free soap.
  2. Apply a moisturiser right after cleaning hands and regularly throughout the day. Moisturising the skin is extremely important. It should be part of a daily routine.
  3. Stay away from antibacterial soaps or hand sanitizers. These irritate the skin more than giving benefit. Waterless cleansers are more likely to contain alcohol and chemicals that may trigger a flare. You can read more about those here.  Our Body Wash is a great bacterial wash that can double as a hand wash when needed.
  4. Take care of any breaks or cuts on the skin before chemicals have a chance to come into contact with them and cause irritation. Most people with hand eczema are more susceptible to skin infection because they don’t have a good skin barrier.
  5. If your hands remain dry, wear fabric or leather work gloves. A top tip is to wear gloves overnight after applying the Hand Cream. Gently apply the cream to the palms and insides of the fingers, massaging gently for two minutes. Place gloves on the hands and leave the mixture on overnight. In the morning, gently wash your hands with cool water before patting dry.  This will help keep the skin nourished and assist the skins ability to repair.

Natural hand cream recommendations

Apply our Manuka Biotic Hand Cream to lock in the moisture and replenish the essential oil and lipids in your skin. You only need a small amount to cover both hands. Even though it contains all the natural goodness of Shea Butter, Vitamin E and Cucumber extract infused with Manuka and Kanuka essential oils which is antibacterial and ant-inflammatory, it is not sticky or greasy.  Regular application of our Hand Cream two-to-three times a day will keep your hands soothed and well moisturised.

These steps can prevent your hands from getting repeat damage. Your skin just needs a chance to heal. But it can’t heal if they are constantly being damaged from excessive hand washing under hot water and harsh detergents or soaps.

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