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Eczema on Hand

Eczema on Hands and Fingers

Eczema on fingers

Dryness and eczema go hand in hand and it is this dryness that makes it so important to keep on moisturizing when you have those recurring symptoms of eczema including itching, inflammation and thickening of the skin on your fingers and elsewhere. Eczema symptoms consist of watery, bumpy, red patches on the skin and the uncomfortable condition is most commonly found on the hands.

Fingertip eczema is where the condition affects the whole finger or parts of the finger. It is especially uncomfortable because it can cause numbness, stiffness and a burning sensation in the fingers, often leading to cracked, dry fingers.

Eczema on the fingers continues in cycles. After it first appears, the skin begins to peel off as it heals. But the peeling continues until all the damaged skin has fallen off the finger. It can happen to only one finger or it can move from one finger to the other or from one hand to the other.

When the hands sweat, valuable moisture is lost from the skin and those fingers can become even more irritated and itchy. Don't wash the hands too often but at least once a day soak the hands in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes so that the skin’s outer layer can absorb moisture while avoiding any scrubbing. The skin should be dried by gently patting with a towel to remove excess water. After patting dry and while the skin is still damp, apply a thick natural moisturizer and if possible protect the hands with light gloves. The ideal time for this routine is at bedtime.

Most doctors or dermatologists will prescribe anti-inflammatory topical medications such as steroids or immunomodulators. While these can have short term results, the benefits quickly wear off and unfortunately, these prescription medications, as well as most available over-the-counter, can be harsh on the skin and the stronger the medication, the more side effects can be noticed.

Many adults will observe that only the ring finger is affected by eczema. This is in fact “contact dermatitis” where your finger is in contact with an allergen that is producing the rash. Rings and other jewelry can be the culprit or it may be that soap or detergent is getting caught under any rings causing the skin around them to become inflamed. Clean the rings, then leave them off at night and either apply a mild steroid cream around the affected area or use a safer, more gentler essential oils product. Once the dermatitis has gone, you can safely put back the rings but continue to take them off at night and if you are using your hands for household chores with commercial cleaning products. Try to change to more natural products instead.

Diet can often be the cause of eczema - especially heating foods such as chillies, salt, fried and processed foods. Alcohol is also hot and irritating to the body and is a known irritant to eczema. Add many more vegetables to your diet (especially the green variety) and incorporate into your diet hemp-seed oil and coriander, which have anti-allergenic properties.

Picture of eczema on the hand and fingers. Image shows cracking and discoloration on the palm of the hand at the base of the fingers.

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