eczema on hands

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talkhealth
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by talkhealth on Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:48 am

eczema on hands

Hi
I have suffered with eczema since I was born and I am nearly 29 now. Mainly get it in patches on my face and hands. I have two daughters age 5 and 1 so I am always washing my hands etc. If I peel potatoes the starch burns my hands and they are really itchy, same as the juice from an orange so I try to avoid this as I know it is a trigger. I have tried wearing gloves in this situation but I can't do it. The eczema that I have on the top of both my hands and on my fingers (and underneath my fingers on the palm side) are patchy. It becomes dry and really itchy and the patches crack and bleed. I got prescribed betnovate and doublebase gel but it doesn't seem to get better for long. I just can't get rid of it! I do have a slight allergy to cats and dogs but I don't have a dog anymore since last April and I only visit my Mum twice a week (she has 2 cats). I am getting very self-conscious as it is quite red and patchy at the minute and I am in a bit of pain with the soreness between my fingers.

So my questions are -
What do you recommend I use? Is there something I can buy or do at home? Or do I need a cream on prescription? Also is it the cats making it worse or other factors?

Thank you
Karla
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Dr Emma Wedgeworth
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by Dr Emma Wedgeworth on Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:31 pm

Re: eczema on hands

Hi Karla,
Sorry to hear you are suffering. Hand eczema can be very uncomfortable and troublesome.

You say you are washing your hands a lot - try using a non-foaming hand wash. Ask your pharmacist about a soap substitute - this will protect your skin barrier function and stop your skin from drying out. Use plenty of moisturiser - you could try a thicker ointment rather than the doublebase gel which is quite light. Betnovate ointment is a good choice. Try using a good amount once a day for 7-14 days. Use a fingertip unit chart to ensure you are using enough. If this helps, then use the steroid twice a week for another 2-4 weeks even if the skin is looking good. Then try and stop. This something we call weekend therapy and it can help maintain things. If this doesn't get things better, then go back to the doctor. Occasionally, there are things you are coming into contact with (like fragrances or preservatives in skincare) which you could be allergic to. I think it's unlikely to be the cats; more commonly cats cause sneezing and running eyes.
Dr Emma Wedgeworth
Consultant Dermatologist & BSF spokesperson

http://www.talkhealthpartnership.com/on ... eworth.php

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