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Dermatitis

Hand Dermatitis

Hand Dermatitis is a Common Skin Disease

Hand dermatitis is another name for eczema.

In this case the skin on the hands gets inflamed after it has touched a substance that starts an allergic reaction on the skin and irritates it.

It is a very common ailment, especially among professionals who frequently come into contact with wet and irritating substances.

These could be cleaning fluids, nail polish remover or any other chemicals. Even people who require frequent contact with metal are prone to hand dermatitis.

Causes

Hand dermatitis could be caused by an allergic reaction to a substance, but it can also be a hereditary ailment. The common causes are detergents, metals, soaps or strong chemicals and solvents. The irritation on the skin can occur immediately after contact with the substance, or sometimes after repeated exposure.

The skin normally has a natural barrier of protection and some substances just break down this barrier. People can suffer from hand dermatitis just being prone to repeated friction, wind or cold. Medical gloves and condoms have latex, and this could cause the eczema as well.

Fragrances and cosmetics like skin cream could trigger hand dermatitis as well. Metals, nickel, as used in jewellry, plants and chemicals used in the clothing manufacturing process could also be the causes of the disease.

Symptoms

Hand dermatitis can be mild or severe. The mild version is just an itchy rash, but the severe one could be severe itching and the skin swells and forms blisters. Sometimes open sores can even lead to bacterial skin infections.

Hand dermatitis generally starts with the top of the hand, it gets irritable and looks like dry, chapped skin especially in the knuckles and the finger tips.

Poisonous plants cause blistering and sometimes a chronic skin rash appears just after contact with the object causing the allergy.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis of hand dermatitis is a long process, because the doctor has to first take the patient's complete history, and have a long question-answer session regarding symptoms, frequent occurrences, etc.

If the diagnosis is an allergic contact dermatitis, it is difficult to identify the allergy immediately, and a patch test is performed. The patch contains some common allergens that cause contact dermatitis and after a few days when the doctor removes the patch, he can check for a reaction and come to a diagnosis.

Treatment

As soon as the patient has been diagnosed with hand dermatitis, he must avoid contact with the substance that is the cause of the irritation. Ointments and lotions are often recommended by doctors, and these provide relief for the itching and irritation.

Washing of hands frequently is also advised. If the hand dermatitis is severe, the necessary medication like antibiotics may be prescribed by the doctor.

Self-Care

If any substance causes any form of irritation or allergic reaction to the skin, it should be immediately avoided. If your profession requires you to handle these substances, use heavy or waterproof gloves, so that your skin is totally unharmed.

 

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