One of the most bothersome skin symptoms is itching. If the itch is caused by a mosquito bite or poison ivy, at least you know it’s temporary and will resolve. A recurring rash, however, is more aggravating, especially if you don’t know the cause. Your exposure to an allergen can be either external, direct contact, or ingestion, usually in food, or by breathing it in. If the rash is limited to one area of the body, it is usually caused by a contact allergen.
Hand eczema is a type of rash. It tends to come and go. Many cases are due to exposure to some type of allergen. People who are employed in certain lines of work have a higher percentage of hand rashes. For example, doctors and nurses, plumbers, machinists, and chemists are frequently exposed to allergens that cause rashes. Latex used to be one of the worst. That’s why vinyl gloves have replaced Latex.
If you can identify the cause of the rash, avoidance is the first step. But many allergens cannot be singled out. So what is the treatment for hand eczema?
First-line treatment involves what you can do before you see our local Dermatologist for rash treatment in Bucks County.
- Limit your exposure to water. Do not hand wash dishes or clothes.
- Wear cotton gloves while doing housework. Change them if they get wet.
- Use disposable vinyl gloves when working with food or doing yard work.
- Using disposable gloves under heavier gloves at work may help.
- Apply a moisturizing cream after washing your hands.
If these steps do not succeed, you need to see a dermatologist. Our dermatologist will probably review your history. Then he will prescribe medications.
- Topical steroid creams are the first-line medications. The strength of the cream (or ointment) will depend on the severity of the rash.
- Dupilumab is an antibody that blocks certain proteins in allergic reactions. It has proven useful for eczema, asthma, and nasal polyps. The medication is given subcutaneously every two weeks in patients six years and older.
- Calcineurin is a T-cell activator. Calcineurin inhibitors, used topically, such as tacrolimus and pimecrolimus, are indicated for mild to severe eczema.
The best dermatologist in Montgomery County, PA can be found at Penn Derm Specialist. If you’re having problems with hand eczema and home treatment hasn’t worked, call the office and set up an appointment.