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What is hand eczema and how to help manage it effectively?

What is hand eczema and how to help manage it effectively?


5 minute read

Hand Eczema is a skin condition that causes areas of skin to become itchy, dry, cracked, sore and red. It is commonly found around the fingers, knuckles and hand as well as inside the elbow. Eczema is not just a skin condition that effects the hands though, it can occur all over the body and on the face. It is one of the most common skin conditions and can be really challenging. In a survey conducted by the Irish Skin Foundation in 2018, it was uncovered that approximately 1 in 5 children and 1 in 12 adults suffer with Eczema in Ireland. The severity of Eczema can vary from person to person and typically there are periods when symptoms can improve and when they flare up and get worse. If uncontrolled, flare-ups can happen often and within the space of a month can present up to 2-3 times. 

Eczema is typically categorised as mild or severe. In people with Mild Eczema, they can experience dry and itchy skin in small areas around the body but it typically goes away after a couple of days.

In individuals with more severe Eczema, the effects can be more widespread around the body. It can result in extended periods of discomfort with red, inflamed and itchy skin the most noticeable and irritating symptoms. Oftentimes, individuals experience an intense desire to scratch their skin to relieve the itch. However, this usually  irritates the skin further and can lead to secondary infections when the skin is torn.

eczema itch

Eczema triggers

For individuals who suffer with Eczema, the most important thing to do is to try and figure out early on is, what your triggers are. Triggers can vary from person to person but there are common Eczema triggers known for aggravating the skin.

Common triggers include:

Certain food allergies to dairy such as cows milk and cheese. Other food allergies  can include eggs as well as certain types of nuts like peanuts can further aggravate eczema. Spices like cinnamon or cloves are another known trigger for Eczema sufferers and should be limited or removed from your diet. Similarly, eating foods that you’re allergic to can trigger an inflammatory response and make your eczema symptoms worse.

The second most common type of eczema trigger is irritants and detergents. Many detergents contain chemicals and fragrances that irritate the skin, causing dryness, itchiness, and redness. Other irritants can include certain brands of shampoo and conditioner as well as personal care products. 

The third most common type of trigger are environmental factors such as the weather. Changing weather is also known for disturbing the skins barrier which can have an impact on eczema sufferers. Cold weather can make the skin more dry,  which in turn can lead to itchy and irritated skin. But, too much dry air can zap your skin of natural moisture. Dryness often leads to itching, which then leads to scratching and inflammation. Other external environmental factors include dust mites, animal hair as well as pollen in the air are all common Eczema triggers.

The final common trigger is often experienced when hormonal changes occur. Pregnancy can be a time when the body undergoes lots of changes and these changes are oftentimes most noticeably felt on the skin. Adult acne, dry skin as well as worsening pre-existing skin conditions like Eczema are all part and parcel of some of the changes women can expect to go through. 

Where does eczema develop? 

As mentioned  above, eczema can be experienced  all over the body but generally there are are a few typical places where it can be present. It's more common in the hands especially near the fingers  as well as behind the knee and inside the elbows. In children, it can also be widespread however it is more commonly found in the scalp and on the face.

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How to help manage Hand Eczema

In order to help manage Hand Eczema, it is vital that extra care is taken to ensure hands are regularly moisturised and hydrated. Our Omega Rich Hand & Nail Cream is an ultra moisturising hand & nail cream that contains a soothing blend of 6 ultra-hydrating plant oils that work hard to help moisturise, nourish and protect your hands and nail. Jojoba oil provides a natural waxy barrier, that delivers deep lasting hydration, while cocoa butter melts on contact with skin, ensuring rapid absorption without any greasy, sticky feel.

 

eczema on fingers

Omega Rich Hand & Nail Cream 60ml

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