ECZEMA ON THE HANDS AND 5 REASONS FOR IT
Eczema on the hands is painful and unpleasant. It can cause redness, itching, cracks, sores, blistering, and very dry, peeling skin. During an outbreak, the backs of the hands and fingers and the inside of the wrists may also be affected, and changes may also appear on the nails. Without proper treatment, eczema on the hands can become chronic. Daily tasks such as buttoning a button or working on a computer can become difficult.
Eczema on the hands is usually caused by several related causes, both genetics and contact allergens and irritants – environmental influences. Genetic predisposition makes some people more susceptible to external substances and allergens and more likely to develop hand eczema.
So what can cause an outbreak in our environment? Here are 5 of the most common triggers and tips on how to mitigate the problem.
ECZEMA ON THE HANDS AND EXPOSURE TO WATER
Constant hand washing can break down the skin’s protective barrier, especially in sensitive skin that is prone to dryness. The skin’s natural moisturising factors are made up of water-soluble compounds such as hyaluronic acid. Being hygroscopic, they absorb and retain moisture in the skin. Surface lipids act as a barrier and help retain this moisture in the skin. Prolonged soaking of the hands in water (especially hot water) removes surface lipids, which causes water to evaporate from the deeper layers of the skin.
How to avoid:
Use protective gloves, preferably vinyl, for washing dishes and other wet tasks. Latex gloves can cause allergic reactions and are best avoided. To wash hands, use a mild soap-free of fragrances, preservatives and dyes, and lukewarm water. After washing, gently dry your hands and apply a moisturiser or, preferably, an ointment. If ointments are too greasy to use during the day, apply them at night.
ECZEMA ON THE HANDS AND EXPOSURE TO ALLERGENS OR IRRITANTS
Eczema on the hands is often caused or aggravated by exposure to chemicals that act as irritants – alcohol, bleach, and cleaning products, and substances that can cause an allergic reaction, such as perfume or contact with certain plants, pollen, dust mites, dust, mold. Fabric can also aggravate eczema on the hands. Rubbing against synthetic fabrics and wool can trigger a cycle of itching and scratching that worsens the condition. Alternatively, eczema can be caused by exposure of the sensitised person to the causative contact allergens (chromates, nickel, fragrance compounds, rubber components).
How to avoid:
First, we need to remove the triggers that encourage eczema to form. If allergenic or irritating factors from food, room, cleaning products are properly excluded, the hands can be protected by wearing vinyl or cotton gloves when doing household chores.
EXCEMPTION AND STRESS
Stress causes an increase in the secretion of hormones, including cortisol and adrenaline, which suppress the immune system and cause an inflammatory response in the skin. A flare-up of eczema can cause even more stress, leading to a vicious cycle. Severe emotional or physical stress is usually associated with the development of dyshidrotic eczema, which causes the formation of tiny watery fluid-filled bubbles.
How to avoid:
Make sure you get enough sleep and live a healthy lifestyle. Exercise is a great way to manage stress. Breathing properly is also very important – if you find yourself in a stressful situation, breathe in slowly and deeply through your abdomen and out through your mouth.
ECZEMA AND WARM, DRY AIR
The temperature and humidity in the air are factors that affect the health of our skin. In summer, the relative humidity and temperature are higher and the skin secretes more sebum, giving it a healthy, glowing appearance. In winter, our skin is exposed to warm, heated rooms and dry air for longer periods, which increases the evaporation of water from the skin and decreases the secretion of sebum. The result is dry skin.
How to avoid this?
Protect your skin. Using the right skincare products, we want to ensure moisture in the deeper layers of the skin while preventing evaporation – we can use an emulsion (or a drop of olive oil on wet skin) that both moisturises and lubricates the skin. Humidifiers are also very popular to increase the relative humidity in a room.
ECZEMA AND SWEATING
Excessive sweating can cause skin irritation and increase the chance of skin diseases – bacterial and fungal infections. Salty sweat worsens itching and damages the skin’s protective layer, which can lead to infection if scratched again. Some research suggests that people with eczema are more prone to excessive sweating.
How to avoid:
Wipe off the sweat with a towel and rinse with lukewarm water to prevent the build-up of salty sweat. After washing, the skin’s protective acid blanket should be restored and lost nutrients and lipids replaced with a light emulsion or lotion. In the case of cracks and wounds on the skin, it is very important to use antiseptic products. The active OXYGEN COMPOUNDS combined with IONIC SILVER in OXILVER® Skin Solution or Gel cleanse the damaged areas of the skin and ensure faster regeneration. The addition of Hyaluronic Acid and Aloe Vera intensively moisturises the skin and accelerates healing.
In the case of cracks and wounds on the skin, it is very important to use antiseptic products. ACTIVE OXYGEN COMPOUNDS in combination with IONIC SILVER in OXILVER® Skin Solution or OXILVER® Skin Gel. OXILVER® Skin Solution or OXILVER® Skin Gel cleanses the damaged areas of the skin and ensures faster regeneration. The added hyaluronic acid and Aloe vera intensively moisturise the skin and accelerate healing.