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Skin, Hair & Nails Guide

Rosa Cabrera RN

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ask: What can I do to heal the eczema on my hands?

By Anonymous
 
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I am experiencing a horrible case of eczema all over my hands- It is dry, itchy and stings. I have tried Eucerin, Cetaphil and a whole bunch of creams. I wear gloves as often as possible when washing the dishes to keep my hands away from water. At night my fingers often itch, sting, and become swollen, so I use ice to calm them down and get some relief. What causes eczema and what can I do to heal the condition?
Thanks!

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Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon

Thanks so much for your post and welcome!

I'm sorry you are dealing with this skin condition, I have heard how itchy, uncomfortable and painful it can be.

Eczema is caused by numerous factors but the root cause is unknown. Here are some factors that contribute:

The exact cause of eczema is unknown. Factors that may contribute to eczema include:

■Genetics
■Environment
■Allergies —may include allergies to things that touch the skin (such as wool or perfumes in soaps), allergies to dust mites (very common), or allergies to foods
■Stress, especially if it leads to scratching
■Frequent washing of affected areas
■Use of rubber gloves in persons sensitive to latex
■Scratching or rubbing of skin

The main goals of eczema treatment are to:

■Heal the skin and keep it healthy
■Stop scratching or rubbing
■Avoid skin infection
■Prevent flare-ups
■Recognize and avoid precipitating allergens, if there are any
■Learn to avoid scratching

Treatment options may vary. Your doctor may recommend more than one depending on your condition. They include:

Skin Care
■Avoid hot or long baths or showers. Keep them less than15 minutes.
■Use mild, unscented bar soap or nonsoap cleanser. Use it sparingly.
■Air-dry or gently pat dry after bathing. Apply gentle moisturizer right after.
■Treat skin infections immediately.
Medications
■Prescription creams and ointments containing cortisone, tacrolimus, or pimecrolimus
■Oral medications (eg, prednisone or cyclosporine )—for the most severe cases
■Antibiotics applied directly to the skin or taken by mouth (only for treating infections)
■Prescription or over-the-counter antihistamines to help prevent itching
Phototherapy
■Treatment with ultraviolet light (by a doctor)
■Photopheresis—for severe cases

Anon - you can read lots more on our Eczema page that also includes lots of articles, questions and solutions from others, and expert advice. Take a read here: http://www.empowher.com/condition/eczema

Anon, I have heard good things about light therapy. Have you discussed that or heard of it?

Best,
Susan

February 2, 2011 - 2:30pm
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