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Dermatology Blog

Eczema on palms

Eczema on palms

The eczema on palms appears as a reaction to irritation. The most often form is an occupational eczema, occurring in cases of skin being burden with irritants in a long-term manner, the so-called irritant contact dermatitis or irritant eczema. Less often the eczema on palms occurs in the form of allergic contact dermatitis with an allergy to a specific allergen. The third often occurring group of eczemas on palms is the random contact of the skin with a damaging substance, this is a so-called acute toxic dermatitis.

Dry skin – future problem

The irritant eczema on palms initially looks like a dry and peeling skin. Such issue should be treated with good moisturizing and lubricating of the skin, as well as by usage gloves or barrier cream.
The skin however becomes more and more sensitive over time. In addition to peeling, it starts to redden and itch. In such case, the skin should be calmed with lukewarm bath or poultice with rapeseed, highly diluted potassium permanganate, oat flakes, black tea, etc. The skin has to be rubbed with cream containing a moisturizing ingredient after the bath. Protect the hands using a barrier cream or gloves when working. If you don’t follow this regimen, the skin starts to react in two ways. Either there will be callus-like locations of hardened skin called crusts that can massively deep crack and bleed. Or pimples and blisters can appear that are filled with fluid. They are very itchy,, crackles and makes the skin wet.
In this situation home remedies stop to be sufficient. Crusts require buying softening and healing ointments, most often zinc-based or with ichthyol called black ointment. The oozing area shall be treated with zinc oil or again the ichtoxyl-based ointment. Do not apply greasy cream. Oozing areas have to be kept clean, e.g., by wearing white cotton gloves. If the eczema doesn’t visibly subside, visit a dermatologist, and get a prescription for ointments or corticosteroid spray. After successful curing the symptoms, it is necessary to use the barrier cream or gloves continuously, otherwise the issue will occur repeatedly.

Allergic eczema can be detected via tests

Allergic contact eczema on palms occurs in individuals with inherited disorder. Their skin extensively reacts to one or more allergens. This allergen can be detected by skin tests. The allergen most often include metal salts, latex, animal fur, plants and animal-based juices and proteins. An allergic person has to avoid these substances completely. The manifestation of an allergic eczema is similar to irritant eczema. However, they appear faster: The whole reaction typically lasts 30 minutes to 48 hours and starts with skin redness and itching and further proceeds to creation of blisters and oozing. Allergic reaction can be accompanied by high fever or nausea.
The treatment is similar to the one for irritant eczema. At the very beginning of the reaction, you can try calcium ointment able to relieve the skin reaction. To prevent the reaction, use the barrier cream regularly.

Burns caused by a lemon?

Acute toxic dermatitis can have symptoms similar to eczema on palms. In such case, the skin is irritated by chemicals. Not only lyes and acids can cause this, but also plant juices. This type of dermatitis commonly occurs during parsnip and parsley harvesting or when processing citruses and figs. Substances these items contain cause a chemical reaction when light falls on an area of the skin stained with the juice and burn the skin. Cow parsnip and ficus cause the same reaction.  
After the skin is doused with acid or lye, or a plant, it is necessary to rinse the skin with a stream of water. In case of bigger splashes, seek medical attention. Smaller areas can be treated in a similar way as common burns, i.e., by using antiseptics and sterile dressing. To prevent the reaction, use gloves and the barrier cream regularly. If you use the barrier cream, the skin is able to withstand the substance for several minutes needed for finding the rinsing water.

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