Hand rashes

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There are various ways an individual can end up with hand rashes, but all have something similar in common. Once the skin is exposed to an irritating substance, it typically reacts with a rash.

Most cases of hand rashes are called contact dermatitis since they are triggered by contact with substances present in the environment. A potent irritant such as industrial chemicals, cleaning fluids and acids are main triggers of contact dermatitis. More often, the irritant is milder and the issue starts out as dryness of the hands. Some of the common irritants include over drying due to frequent hand washing, cleaning agents, soap or even ingredients in personal care products.

What are the symptoms of hand rashes?

Hand rashes
Most cases of hand rashes are called contact dermatitis since they are triggered by contact with substances present in the environment.

The inflammation appears as swelling, redness and itching. The skin will lose its capability to function as a barrier, thus allowing outside irritants to enter. Until all the irritants are removed, the skin will no longer heal. Once the skin turns red and dry, even harmless substances can cause further irritation.

Causes of hand rashes

It is important to note that the tendency to develop skin reactions is often inherited. Individuals who have this tendency might have a history of hay fever and/or asthma in combination with food allergies and a skin condition such as eczema. The skin will turn red and start to itch after exposure with various substances that will not bother the skin of other individuals.

In some cases, hand rashes are allergic in nature. The potential trigger can range from metals, rubber and preservatives. Even prescription skin creams can trigger a reaction. Once the skin is exposed to the same substance, it becomes inflamed.

Take note that the least common forms of hand rashes are often the most severe such as dyshidrotic hand dermatitis which forms blisters beneath the skin, particularly on the sides of the fingers and on the palms. This condition is internally produced and seems to worsen if the individual is stressed out. As for hyperkeratotic hand eczema, it involves thick scales and fissures.


The doctor will utilize a combination of methods to heal the skin. In most cases, a prescription cream or ointment will be prescribed. In case this cream does not seem to help after 7-10 days, a doctor should be consulted. It is possible that an oral antibiotic will be given if an infection is present.

Individuals with severe hand rashes might require oral or injectable steroids. The individual should keep his/her hands away from any irritant.

Preventive measures

Frequent hand washing and exposure to water must be avoided. This requires the use of gloves to protect the hands as well as creams that will serve as barriers. It is recommended to use lukewarm water and rinse thoroughly after washing with soap. Make sure that mild soap will be used or a soap substitute and then blot the skin dry carefully.

Use a moisturizer while the skin is still moist. Remember that moisturizing creams are better since they are thicker and last longer on the skin. Lotions are not suitable and least effective since they contain mostly water.

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