Hand Dermatitis

Also known as hand eczema, hand dermatitis refers to several different types of skin conditions that affect the hands, including atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis and any type of eczema.

These conditions cause dryness, chapping, redness, itchiness, blisters and scaling on the skin of the hands. In severe cases, the patient may develop fissures on the skin of the hands, as well as deformed nails.

Hand dermatitis can affect people of all ages, and may develop as a result of:

  • Genetics
  • Contact Irritation
  • Allergies
  • Poor hand hygiene

Treatments for hand dermatitis include avoiding irritants and avoiding water submersion as in dishwashing without rubber gloves. Certain types of employment or recreational activities may prove to be a serious factors in the development of hand dermatitis.

Hydration barrier ointments, most often petroleum-based, have been found to be the most effective in the treatment of hand dermatitis. Research has shown that such ointments are more successful in hydrating the skin of the hands than creams are, although ointments can be excessively sticky for daytime use. Applied at night under cotton gloves, petroleum-based preparations can make a marked difference in healing the skin and returning it to its normally smooth texture. Treatment usually takes 6 to 8 weeks to be fully effective.

In severe cases, corticosteroids and other anti-inflammatory creams, antibiotics, phototherapy or BOTOX® injections may be used to alleviate the symptoms of hand dermatitis.