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Treatment and prevention of simple hand rashes

Treatment and prevention of simple hand rashes
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If you are suffering from hand rashes, there may be a few key things you can do to help prevent them. Winter is a time when hand rashes can crop up mysteriously, with the cause perhaps a new hand soap, dry skin, or something else going on from the inside out.

Hand rashes often occur because you touched something you’ve had a reaction to, but it can also be what’s known as a systemic reaction inside your body that is appearing just on your hands.

The most common cause of hand rashes is eczema, but it could be an allergy. Allergies can develop suddenly, even though you may have been touching the same thing for years without a problem. This could happen with a food you often touch to cut (onions, garlic, tomatoes), a skincare product you regularly apply to your hands, or even a wedding ring.

Discovering the cause of your rash may take some detective work, so eliminate things one by one to see what’s going on (if you can). This could mean wearing rubber gloves when you chop the onions, using a different hand cream for a week, or considering other tasks that bring you into contact with chemicals like dyes or detergents regularly.

Preventing worsening or development of hand rashes

  • Wear gloves that match the job – waterproof, long-armed gloves, or gardening gloves. Never wear wet gloves or gloves with a hole in them.
  • Wear warm gloves when it’s cold outside – causing damage to your skin cells by letting them get dried out with the cold can mean things you are touching can get deeper into the skin and cause a reaction, whereas normally they wouldn’t be able to get so far in.
  • Don’t strip your natural oils when you wash your hands – you are taught (and rightly so) to wash your hands after the toilet, but what you wash them with could be stripping your natural oils off, causing your hands to dry out, allowing irritants closer to your raw skin tissue and ultimately causing a rash to develop. Use pH balanced soaps or just rinse well with warm water. Avoid hot water.
  • Apply a hypoallergenic barrier moisturiser liberally and often. This holds water in and acts as a barrier to irritants. Some moisturisers are designed to withstand washing in water, so seek those out at your local chemist or online and invest in some.

All hand rashes are not alike, so if you have a persistent rash that isn’t going away, book an appointment with one of our expert dermatologists to find the cause and get effective treatments.

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