What you need to know about hand eczema

Hand eczema is also called hand dermatitis. It is becoming more prevalent worldwide. According to the journal Dermaitits, an article titled "Impact of Atopic Dermatitis and Chronic Hand Eczema on Quality of Life" in 2020, 20% of the population in developed countries is now affected.

Hand eczema is not contagious but tends to be chronic (two-thirds of hand eczema sufferers developed into chronic hand eczema), and the symptoms may last more than 10 years. Interestingly, certain professions such as barbers, hairdressers, cleaning, and healthcare workers are more prone to this persistent condition. Genetic, contact irritants and or allergens, as well as stress, affect hand eczema.

Chronic hand eczema has a significant negative impact on the physical, social, and psychological health-related quality of life of patients.

What are some of the common triggers of hand eczema? Certain material or substances such as alcohols, bleach, and dyes may irritate hands and lead to flareups, whereas other things such as perfume, certain preservatives in foods, shampoos, and washes sensitize the skin and lead to allergic reactions. Avoid being in contact with skin irritants or skin sensitizers are crucial for those suffering from hand eczema.

So where can you find these chemicals? Hand sanitizers, cleaning wipes, or spray have a high content of alcohol (some exceeds over 70%!) Even toners, sunscreen sprays, and hair sprays may contain alcohol. Be sure to read the label of these products. Many cosmetics contain dyes, harsh solvents, and surfactants that are known skin irritants. Altough perfumes do not irritate the skin, they are known skin sensitizers and make skin more prone to allergic reactions.

In our next blog article, we will explain more about hand eczema and how to effectively manage it.

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