Hand dermatitis is a form of irritant contact dermatitis that mainly affects the hands. A reaction arises after exposure to certain chemicals that can irritate the skin.
The condition can be acute where the signs arise right away or chronic in which the symptoms are present for some time, usually several hours or days. The usual triggers include detergents, soaps, cement, hand cleaning agents and paints.
Am I at risk?
The risk for developing hand dermatitis involves exposure to or contact with these substances:
- Cleaning agents including detergents and soaps
- Materials such as paints, cement and adhesives
- Metals such as chromium and nickel
- Toxic or corrosive substances
What are the signs?
It is important to note that hand dermatitis can be categorized as acute or chronic. The signs might be minor or severe and typically include:
- Reddened rashes on the hands
- Cracked and dry, reddened patches that strikingly resemble burns on the skin. Even the hands can be affected.
- Skin blisters that drain fluid
- Tenderness and pain in the affected areas
- Irritation is typically localized to the site of contact with signs that manifest in other parts of the body
The acute form of hand dermatitis generally arises right after exposure to an irritant or after a few minutes or hours. As for the chronic form, the symptoms arise after several hours or days of exposure.
Management of hand dermatitis
It is important to note that hand dermatitis can be treated with the following:
- Avoidance of exposure or contact with potential irritants
- Apply an anti-itch, over-the-counter creams that include hydrocortisone which provides relief to the itchiness and pain.
- Oral medications such as corticosteroids for inflammation or antihistamines for relief to the itchiness might be given by the doctor.
Some self-care measures that can be done at home include:
- Instruct the individual to avoid scratching the sites affected by hand dermatitis
- Use mild detergents and soaps
- A cool bath can help soothe the irritated skin