Eczema on hands: Causes and Treatment

Eczema-on-hands causes amd treatments

What is Hand Eczema?

Hand Eczema is nothing but eczema on hand, and is a skin condition that is characterized by inflamed skin that is dry, red, itchy and cracked. Eczema can occur due to both hereditary and environmental factors.

It’s mostly seen in children, and they’re mostly believed to have the condition later on in their life.

Why is Hand Eczema caused? 

In most cases, hand eczema could be caused due to an allergic reaction to something. Many people are allergic to nuts, and even metals. Eczema is a type of Atopic Dermatitis, it’s mostly caused due to contact with substances and objects. So take for instance you come in contact with a metal that you’re allergic to, your skin would react to this(1).

Atopic Dermatitis

Your skin gets a signal from your immune system that causes it to become red, cracked and itchy. Thus medication is given in the form of corticosteroids to help suppress the immune system. Eczema can be caused due to the weather as well. A hot dry weather can make your skin dry and might even give you rashes.

Hand eczema could be one of the most irritating forms of eczema there is. Since it causes itchiness, redness, and cracking of skin on your hands, it could be difficult to go about doing your everyday activities. In some cases, hand eczema could cause your skin to crack and bleed along with pus.

Hand Eczema is easy to encounter, especially for people who wash their hands too many times a day or use detergents regularly. Contact Dermatitis or Atopic Dermatitis is seen mostly in hairdressers and other people who might have contact with harmful chemicals or other substances that cause this skin condition.

Another type is Dyshidrotic Dermatitis, which is seen mostly in between fingers, and toes, on the hands and below the feet. It’s caused due to moisture and sweat causing irritation and skin to peel.

Also read: Eczema: Causes and Treatments

Can it be treated? 

Hand Eczema is not completely curable, but it can be treated. Reasonably, it’s better to prevent it rather than trying to get it under control after it happens. The main focus in this sense would be to find the trigger and stay away from it. If you’re allergic to something, then it’s better to stay away from it.

Exposure to the sun can also worsen that condition. Of course, it wouldn’t be possible to completely avoid going out. What you could do is apply a good amount of sunscreen, cover yourself physically, and try to refrain from going out when the sun rays are the most harmful, which is between 11 am – 3 pm.

Doctors advise you to reduce your contact with soaps or anything else that could dry out your skin. Make sure you don’t over wash your hands(2). It could become a habit you develop unknowingly, but it’s important to keep it under control.

Moisturize your skin regularly, and drink enough water to hydrate your skin. Doctors also ask you to stay away from anti-bacterial soaps that could dry out your skin and in some cases make it even more sensitive. If you have cracked skin, that’s bleeding, make sure you protect it and keep it covered so that it doesn’t get infected.


What does hand eczema look like?

Eczema on the hands looks like skin lesions that are inflamed, red, itchy and dry.

Why does Eczema happen on hands?

Hand eczema can happen because of repeatedly washing your hand, due to dry weather and contact with substances that you’re allergic to.

How can Eczema on hands be treated?

Try to always keep your hands moisturized. If you’re constantly in touch with detergents or hard soaps, where gloves. Cover your cracks and peeling skin, so that they don’t get infected.

In case you notice that your hand eczema is getting worse and is hindering your everyday activities, visit your doctor. They might give you some corticosteroids to suppress your immune system.

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Picture of Dr Jisha Gomez

Dr Jisha Gomez

She is a highly skilled dermatology physician with strong expertise in improving skin & hair health through the development of corrective treatment combinations. She completed her Post-graduate Diploma in Dermatology from Cardiff, UK & Fellowship in Aesthetic Medicine (FAM) from the Institute of Laser and Aesthetic Medicine, Delhi with over 5+ years experience treating skin patients. She has worked in Government hospitals in Trivandrum and Bangalore. She is actively involved in creating awareness for healthy skin, breaking the social stigma based on skin colour & stopping steroid abuse in our country.