What are the treatment options for hand eczema?

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Hand eczema is called dermatitis which is a throbbing long-lasting rash that turns the hands reddish in color, cracked and causes oozing bumps or prickly, scale-like patches. In some individuals, they have dishpan hand which is considered as a type of hand eczema but it can affect anyone. Hand eczema is likely to develop among those who have similar skin issues or allergies as children or those whose hands are always wet or exposed to chemicals in the workplace. It is vital that the individual will seek immediate medical care right away for hand eczema since it can be difficult to treat after some time. If you want to learn more about this type of eczema, read here.


The commonly used treatment for hand eczema is topical corticosteroid which works by minimizing the inflammation and help relieve the itchiness. It is recommended to store the lotion in the refrigerator since it works better in soothing the skin if it is cool.

Hand eczema
Hand eczema is likely to develop among those who have similar skin issues or allergies as children or those whose hands are always wet or exposed to chemicals in the workplace.

Topical corticosteroids must only be used when hand eczema is currently causing issues since long-term use can thin out the skin along with other side effects. As for cases that do not respond to topical corticosteroids, oral corticosteroids or another medication is given for the inflammation.

Calcineurin inhibitors

An alternative to corticosteroids are calcineurin inhibitors. These medications can trigger fewer side effects than the corticosteroids. They work by minimizing the inflammation. These medications can be taken by anybody over 2 years old and must be used with a sunscreen.

Other medications

Since this eczema is activated by an allergic reaction to substances present in the workplace or in household agents, antihistamines that are taken orally can be used. The antihistamines function by hindering the immune system response that initiates the swelling during an allergic reaction. In some circumstances, antibiotics are given once an infection develops. Those who suffer from eczema that is triggered by profuse sweating in the hands are given botulinum toxin type A.

Changes in the lifestyle

The following changes in the lifestyle of the individual should be observed to help reduce the flare-ups of hand eczema.

  • The individual should avoid getting the hands wet as much as possible by using gloves when washing clothes or cleaning the dishes.
  • Avoid all the allergens or irritants that cause the flare-ups of hand eczema.
  • The individual should use a washing machine or dishwasher if possible.
  • When sanitizing the hands, a cream cleanser should be used and blot it off thoroughly.
  • Moisturizers should be applied every time the hands become wet.
  • The ideal protection is provided by petroleum jelly since it does not contain water which only worsens the skin condition as well as providing a protective barrier that keep irritants out.


When it comes to cases of chronic hand eczema, it can be managed with light therapy. The individual is given a light-sensitive drug that makes the skin more sensitive to UVA light prior to exposing the hands to the UVA light.

Take note that the UVA light is a specific wavelength of light that affects the immune system by reducing its response to any irritants that causes hand eczema. As a result, the symptoms are drastically reduced. Even though this treatment option is effective, an issue of concern is the risk for skin cancer and can cause side effects such as headache, nausea, fatigue and burning or discolored skin.

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