When To See A Dermatologist
If you have extremely dry, painful hands and using moisturizer throughout the day fails to bring relief, you may have hand eczema. Without treatment and preventive measures, hand eczema tends to worsen.
Seeing a dermatologist can relieve hand eczema before it worsens.
* This patients story appeared in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. For this article, the patient was given a fictitious name.
ImagesImage 1: Image used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatologys National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
Image 2: Image used with permission of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Use Essential Oils Or Oil
Usually, the moisturizing creams or lotions keep eczema symptoms under control, but in some cases, even basic formulas didnt work. Use essential oils or oil-based moisturizers is a better way to protect the moisture and soothe out the irritated skin.
Natural oils have a long history of anti-inflammatory and stress-reducing properties that may provide relief for many patients. Though you should always consult a doctor or dermatologist about treatment options. But you can always use essential oils for eczema as a primary medication.
Oils like Lavender essential oil, Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Jojoba Oil, Pure Sunflower Oil, Calendula Oil, Tea Tree oil and moisturizes contain these oils are really effective to heal eczema skin.
Is There A Difference Between Eczema And Dermatitis
Although the terms dermatitis and eczema may overlap in how theyre used, specific types of skin conditions are better known by just one of the names. For example, many doctors use the terms atopic dermatitis and eczema interchangeably but wouldnt use the term contact dermatitis in place of eczema.
Dermatitis means inflammation of the skin. Eczema is inflamed skin that has other symptoms like itching, a flaky or scaly rash, and dry skin.
The table below compares the two conditions, with the bolded terms signifying differences.
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Eczema Treatment: 13 Ways To Find Relief
While there is no cure for eczema, there are a variety of non-invasive eczema treatment options that can provide relief during a flare-up and some that may prevent its onset. These can include corticosteroids, but the following home eczema treatment options may be best.
1. Light Therapy/Phototherapy
According to the National Eczema Association, phototherapy helps to calm inflammation, reduces itching, increases vitamin D production and helps fight bacteria on the skin. Adding 1015 minutes a day of sun exposure, particularly during an eczema flare, can provide relief and potentially speed healing.
2. Vitamin D
In addition to increasing sun exposure, supplementing withvitamin D rich foods like cod liver oil, sardines, salmon, eggs and raw milk may help prevent eczema in children and adolescents. Ideally, during a flare you will get 2,000-5,000 IU daily if your sun exposure is low, consider boosting your intake with a high-quality supplement. Preliminary research shows that low vitamin D levels during pregnancy and during childhood may increase the risk for developing eczema.
Because dry skin is both a cause and symptom, it is imperative to moisturize affected areas at least twice a day. Coconut oil is the perfect moisturizer for eczema sufferers. This eczema treatment is antibacterial and anti-fungal, with antimicrobial properties that provide soothing relief, and may speed healing.
4. Treat the Mind and Body
5. Dead Sea Salt Baths
6. Cool, Wet Compresses
What Are Some Habits That Help Reduce Eczema
Dr. Mawana Isaa mentions the following tips for eczema treatment:
- Hydrate your skin by using a thick moisturizer
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid contact with certain materials such as wool
- Use a humidifier
- Take vitamin D supplements
Following the above steps, in addition to avoiding triggers that worsen this condition, is crucial to keeping your eczema from getting worse.
Dr. Mawana Isaa adds that the frequency of showers might affect eczema as hot water and soap affect the skin barrier. She recommends showering for only 10 minutes, using warm water and a mild soap-free cleanser, and applying a moisturizer immediately after showering. She also lists some important ingredients that improve eczema-prone skin, such as hydroxydecin, shea butter, vaseline, ceramides, glycerin, panthenol, sodium hyaluronate, enoxolone.
In a nutshell, there is no quick fix for eczema, but managing its symptoms, such as dryness and itching, is key to the long-term treatment of eczema.
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What Causes An Eczema Flare
Triggers arenât the same for everyone, and there may be a lag between the trigger and the symptoms. Sweat, fabrics , pet dander, hot or cold weather, and harsh soaps are common triggers. Others include:
- Dry skin. It could get scaly, tight, and easy to crack, which can lead to a flare-up.
- Stress. For some people, emotional stress can trigger eczema symptoms. Doctors donât know exactly why this is, but there are ways to help lessen the stress in your life, from mind-body and meditation techniques, to lifestyle changes, to therapy approaches like cognitive behavioral therapy. Talk to your health care provider about how to reduce stress if itâs a trigger for your eczema.
- Irritants. These could include household items like hand and dish soap, laundry detergent, shampoo, body wash, or home cleaners and disinfectants. Juice from fruit, vegetables, and even meats can act as triggers in some people. Other common irritants include:
- Cigarette smoke
- Antibacterial ointment like neomycin and bacitracin
- Cocamidopropyl betaine
- Isothiazolinone (antibacterial in baby wipes and other personal products
What Are The Risk Factors For Eczema
There are a few factors that can increase your risk of developing eczema.
People with family members who have eczema are also at higher risk of developing the condition.
Eczema can lead to some complications, including:
- Sleep troubles. Eczema can cause difficulty sleeping and disrupt your sleep hygiene.
- Skin infections. Repeated scratching can leave your skin open to bacteria and viruses that can cause infections.
- Asthma and hay fever. Eczema can often lead to developing asthma or hay fever, especially in children younger than age 12.
- Thick and scaly skin. Scratching can cause your skin to harden and thicken over time.
- Additional types of eczema. Often, having one type of eczema can increase your risk of another developing.
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Relief Requires Finding The Cause
Effective treatment begins with finding the cause. Anything that irritates your skin can cause hand eczema. Even something as harmless as water can irritate your skin if you often have wet hands. Many people who frequently have wet hands throughout the day, such as nurses, hair stylists, and plumbers get hand eczema.
Working with chemicals like solvents, detergents, or cement also increases the risk. Hand eczema is common among construction workers and machinists.
Chef with hand eczema
Anything that irritates your skin can cause hand eczema. For example, whenever this chef handles garlic, hand eczema develops.
Hand eczema can also be caused by an allergic reaction. Some health care workers get hand eczema from wearing latex gloves.
You also have a higher risk of developing hand eczema if you had atopic dermatitis as a child.
Because so many things can cause hand eczema, finding the cause can be tricky. Until you find the cause and avoid it, hand eczema can worsen.
Thats why it can help to see a dermatologist. These doctors have the expertise needed to track down the cause, as Marks* story illustrates.
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A Natural Methods To Cure Eczema
1. Aloe Vera Gel
This is one of the simplest and most effective natural treatments of eczema. Directly extracted gel from the aloe vera plant can be applied to the affected areas for immediate relief. Its intense hydrating ability moisturizes dry skin and cooling nature soothes skin affected by inflammation, erythema and itchiness.
Aloe vera may also assist in repairing the skin barrier while its antibacterial properties help prevent chances of infection.
2. Cold Compress
A cold compress can provide relief from many eczema symptoms such as inflammation, itch and redness. Frequent cold compresses may also keep infection at bay.
3. Oatmeal Bath
Colloidal oatmeal baths are often recommended for their skin healing properties. Regular application of oatmeal paste on the affected areas or adding it to your bath can improve skin affected by eczema. Oatmeal can gently exfoliate dry skin and remove dead cell layers, helping in the skin renewal process.
4. Coconut Oil and Sunflower Seed Oil
Both coconut oil and sunflower seed oil are excellent moisturizers for dry, damaged eczema-affected skin. While coconut oil exhibits amazing antibacterial properties, keeping infection away, sunflower oil helps build the damaged epidermal layer. Regular application of these oils can also benefit eczema symptoms such as itchiness, inflammation and hyperpigmentation.
Antihistamines And Pain Relievers
Atopic dermatitis , the most common form of eczema is part of whats known as the atopic triad . In fact, people with AD have a greater chance of developing comorbidities or related health conditions, namely asthma, hay fever and food allergies.
To help combat itch and curb inflammation if you have allergies, a healthcare provider may suggest antihistamines. Some antihistamines also contain sedatives that can help people sleep.
Examples of OTC oral antihistamines include:
To address common eczema symptoms such as burning, pain and inflammation, a healthcare provider may also suggest OTC pain relievers such as:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs including ibuprofen
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Treatment Includes Avoiding The Cause
As you can see from Marks story, finding the cause often takes time, detective work, and expertise.
But finding the cause is essential to get relief. Once you know whats causing the hand eczema, treatment can bring relief. Treatment includes avoid whats causing the hand eczema. To help your hands heal, your dermatologist may also include a moisturizer, barrier repair cream, or cortisone cream in your treatment plan.
A dermatologist can also tell you how to avoid whats causing your hand eczema.
Even if it seems unlikely that youll be able to avoid certain tasks like immersing your hands in water throughout the day or putting on a pair of latex gloves, a dermatologist can help. Dermatologists have developed strategies to help their patients continue to work while avoiding whats causing their hand eczema.
Sometimes, a few days off of work can be helpful. If you have severe hand eczema, more time off of work may be necessary.
With preventive measures and treatment, however, most people with hand dermatitis recover completely.
Research On Nummular Eczema Diet
When it comes to nummular eczema specifically, a 2021 study showed that a gluten-free diet may help you manage the symptoms of the condition.
In this case, an 11-year-old girl was able to remain completely symptom-free while avoiding all gluten. However, more research is needed to confirm whether this is true beyond this single case.
A 2020 study also showed there may be some benefit to L-His supplementation . This is a supplement containing the amino acid histidine, which the body metabolizes into histamine.
Histamine is an amino acid involved with growth and immunity. The research shows it may improve the symptoms of severe nummular eczema that is resistant to other treatments.
The following conditions may increase your risk of developing nummular eczema, according to the AAD:
- living in a cold, dry climate
- dry skin
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Try To Reduce The Damage From Scratching
Eczema is often itchy, and it can be very tempting to scratch the affected areas of skin.
But scratching usually damages the skin, which can itself cause more eczema to occur.
The skin eventually thickens into leathery areas as a result of chronic scratching.
Deep scratching also causes bleeding and increases the risk of your skin becoming infected or scarred.
Try to reduce scratching whenever possible. You could try gently rubbing your skin with your fingers instead.
If your baby has atopic eczema, anti-scratch mittens may stop them scratching their skin.
Keep your nails short and clean to minimise damage to the skin from unintentional scratching.
Keep your skin covered with light clothing to reduce damage from habitual scratching.
What Is The Best Treatment For Psoriasis
At Cumberland Skin, our board-certified dermatologists build personalized psoriasis treatment plans for individual patients to help alleviate their psoriasis symptoms and reduce the chances of psoriasis flare-ups.
Our personalized treatments plans include a combination of medication topicals, creams, and oral prescriptions and lifestyle recommendations to help patients experience relief.
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Dry Scaly And Painful Hands Could Be Hand Eczema
How to prevent and treat hand rashes
Hand rashes can be frustrating, especially when the cause of your rash is unknown. To help prevent a hand rash, dermatologists offer these tips.
Is the skin on your hands dry, thick, and scaly? Do you have deep, painful cracks on your hands that bleed? You may have more than dry skin. Hand eczema could be the culprit.
Hand eczema can cause the following:
Dry, chapped skin
Patches of red irritated skin
Scaly and inflamed skin that may itch
Bleeding or weeping skin
Crusts, pus, and pain
Because it often looks like dry skin, hand eczema can easily be mistaken for dry skin. Unlike dry skin, you need more than a good moisturizer to get rid of hand eczema.
Ultraviolet Radiation Therapy For Eczema
Exposure to ultraviolet radiation can help reduce the symptoms of chronic eczema. Exposure under medical supervision can be carefully monitored with the use of specially designed cabinets the person stands naked in the cabinet and fluorescent tubes emit ultraviolet radiation.A person with stubborn eczema may need up to 30 sessions. The risks of unsupervised ultraviolet radiation therapy can be the same as for sunbathing faster ageing of the skin and greater risk of skin cancer.
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Prevent Flares Feel Better
Many things could set off an eczema flare. You may not have the same triggers as someone else. It pays to figure out what causes your skin to react.
Dry skin. If your skin gets too dry, it can become rough and itchy. It might even crack. That can let bacteria or allergens inside. Dry skin is a common eczema trigger for many people. Extreme changes in temperature can stress your skin, too.
Tips: Keep your skin moist — especially in winter, when the air can be very dry. Use a humidifier to moisten the air in your bedroom when you sleep. Apply body lotion after you get out of a shower or bath. Soak in a warm bath with small amounts of bath oil, or add colloidal oatmeal to ease eczema itching and moisten your skin. See what’s the best lotion for eczema.
Irritants. Products you use every day may bother your skin. Soap, cleansers, body wash, laundry detergent, lotions, or even some foods you touch can trigger eczema rashes.
Tips: Talk to your doctor to pinpoint what may irritate your skin. They can test how your skin reacts to certain products. Keep track of anything you use that seems to trigger a flare after you touch it. Choose soaps, cleansers, and laundry detergents without added perfumes or dyes. These are common eczema triggers.
Clothing. Fabrics that are rough, too tight, or itchy can trigger eczema. Clothes that are too warm or heavy can make you sweat and cause a flare, too.
Did My Baby Develop Eczema Because I Couldnt Breastfeed
As eczema is caused by genetic factors, bottle-feeding a baby definitely cannot cause eczema. In fact, current research is divided, with some studies showing positive effects of breastfeeding and others showing no significant effects at all.
Neither is there enough evidence to advise pregnant or breastfeeding women to avoid specific foods to protect unborn children from atopic eczema or any other atopic condition.
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Emollients For Treating Eczema
Emollient creams add moisture to the skin. Apply moisturisers each day to clean, dry skin. It is especially important to moisturise after showering and bathing, and when living or working in an air-conditioned or heated environment. You may need to try several different brands until you find the emollient that works best for you. Ask your doctor, dermatologist or pharmacist for advice.
What Does Eczema Look Like
Eczema can be easily diagnosed through visual identification from the following symptoms:
1. Reddish or dark brown patches of dry, cracked skin.
2. Scaly, hardened, severely itchy plaques on skin.
3. Blisters that easily rupture and leak fluid.
4. Possibility of scarring or hyperpigmentation after recovery.
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Wet And Dry Wrap Therapy
Another great natural treatment for dry eczema is asimple but effective at-home technique using a natural moisturizer andform-fitted clothing or bandage to wrap affected areas, calledwet wrapping and dry wrapping.
To make wrapping simpler and more effective, specialty eczema wrap garments are great!
For wet wrapping babies, toddlers,and young children, we recommend:
For adults, try this larger Remedywear hat for adults.
For wet wrapping older children, teens, and adults withmore localized dry eczema, for instance, on an arm or leg, check out Remedywear Sleeves/Bandages for babies to adults. If youre still unsure, learn more about wet wrappinghere.