Hand eczema, also known as hand dermatitis, is a common condition that affects about 10% of the U.S. population. Both genetics and contact allergens and irritating substances play a role in “triggering” this form of eczema. It often affects people who work in cleaning, catering, hairdressing, healthcare, and mechanical jobs where they may come into contact with chemicals and other irritants.
Unfortunately, there is no 100% cure for eczema in modern medicine, but many treatments are available to relieve symptoms, prevent flare-ups. In fact, there is currently an unprecedented number of new treatments for eczema in development.
In this video, we will introduce some useful information about effective medical treatment option for eczema on hands.
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Treatment options for eczema on hands
- Steroid creams, ointments, or tablets. ‘Topical’ means applied to the skin. Topical steroids treat active eczema by reducing inflammation; this will reduce red, sore, and cracked skin. Hands usually require stronger steroids because of the skin of the palms is thick, so potent topical steroids are usually prescribed. They should be used for a short treatment burst, generally 2 weeks.
- Antihistamine cream or tablets. The cream may help sometimes for reducing itching, but tablets are not often helpful in hand dermatitis. Non-sedating antihistamines are not helpful for most people with eczema. Sedating antihistamines are sometimes taken for a few days when eczema flares up to help sleep. Sedating antihistamines cause drowsiness and should not be taken before driving and using machinery.
- Antibiotics, antifungal cream. If the skin is infected and causes an eczema flare-up, you may be prescribed an antimicrobial or antifungal treatment in the form of a cream or even tablet-like ketoconazole.
- Ultraviolet Therapy. Phototherapy is generally used for eczema that is all over the body or for localized eczema such as hands and feet that has not improved with topical treatments. The most common type of phototherapy used to treat eczema is narrowband ultraviolet B (NB-UVB) light, although other options may be recommended by your healthcare provider.
- Topical calcineurin inhibitors. Topical calcineurin inhibitors (TCIs) work by altering the immune system and have been developed for treating atopic eczema. There are two types available: tacrolimus ointment (Protopic) for moderate to severe eczema and pimecrolimus cream (Elidel) for mild to moderate eczema.
- Topical crisaborole. Your doctor may prescribe these instead of a steroid cream. These creams and ointments block chemicals that can make your eczema flare.
- Botulinum toxin. Botulinum toxin has recently been used in the treatment of focal hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis is also an aggravating factor in nearly 40% of patients with dyshidrotic hand eczema. Botulinum toxin can be a valuable alternative for patients with treatment-refractory hand eczema of the vesicular type, especially with hyperhidrosis or worsening during the summer.
Be sure these medical treatments are ordered and supervised by a legal dermatologist. Because some of these treatments may thin your skin and some may affect other organ functions in patient’s body.
There are also some natural home remedies and prevention options for eczema on your hands if you are interested. We will upload these tips in upcoming videos and hope these treatments and natural remedies can help you out.Thanks for your watching.