This chronic hand rash appears as irritation on the skin that can include redness, scaling, burning, and cracking. The rash may be limited to specific patches of skin or affect the entire hand. An immune response to allergens or irritants (contact dermatitis) is the most common cause of hand dermatitis. Other skin conditions including scabies (mites burrowing under the skin), psoriasis, and eczema can cause this rash on the hands.

Because of the location of the rash, it can be significantly disabling. For example, individuals who work with their hands may be in constant discomfort. Those who must wash their hands frequently for hygiene reasons are at particular risk for additional skin dryness that makes symptoms worse. There are many different substances such as household or industrial cleaners, gloves or other rubber or latex products, and various chemicals that can trigger or worsen hand dermatitis. A dermatologist may be able to help you identify allergens or irritants to avoid.

Potential Treatments

Keeping your hands well moisturized is essential for reducing symptoms. You may find the following creams helpful:

  • Aquaphor
  • Carmol (or other prescription urea creams)
  • Neutrogena Norwegian Hand Cream
  • Theraseal

Your dermatologist may also recommend the use of topical and/or oral steroids. Some patients use a light application of superglue to close fissures (cracks) in their skin.

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