Petal Soft Hands, are every woman’s dream & not so difficult to attain if one understands the causes of Hand Eczemas & follows few simple remedial measures.
Hands & Nails are maximally exposed to varied Physical & Chemical Abuse in the course of carrying out our day to day activities either at home or at work. With an increase in household conveniences we also have an increased field of exposures to many new irritants & Allergens. Maintenance of hands is therefore a must & become as routine to us as brushing our teeth.
Hand dermatitis ,also known as ‘Dishpan Hands’, is common & results from a combination of sensitive skin, irritation & or an allergic reaction from materials touched. Some people are genetically predisposed to Hand eczema. In such cases it takes less environmental abuse to cause hand dermatitis than in a normal individual.
HAND ECZEMA or DERMATITIS IS NOT CONTAGIOUS. The skin is protected by an ‘oil’ (sebum) layer , which can be stripped off by harsh soaps, household detergents, bleaches & antiseptics. The skin then becomes dry, cracked & inflamed. This is still an IRRITANT REACTION. Repeated exposures of this irritated skin to chemicals mentioned can then lead to an ALLERGIC DERMATITIS. What happens then is that the slightest exposure to the allergen or to a cross reacting allergen can cause a severe flare up of Hand Dermatitis or Eczema. To determine the causative factor is a daunting task to the Dermatologist & requires intense co operation of the patient. The patient has to conscientiously make a note of what he or she is exposed to, and which tasks give a flare up of the disease.
– Skin protection is the biggest priority. However one may scoff at wearing gloves, their importance is undiminished.
– Protect your hands from contact with household scourers & chemicals by wearing cotton lined gloves. Even in the course of dusting the house or doing dry work it is advisable to use soft, thin cotton gloves.
– Wear heavy duty gloves if involved in a occupation that brings about contact with industrial chemicals, grease, oils , fertilizers etc.
– Horsepersons predisposed to hand irritation should wear waterproof gloves while cutting or chopping chilies, tomatoes, citrus fruits etc.
– Try & use soaps for rinsing hands, that are ph balanced or gentle cleansers.
– Avoid usage of rings while working because these cause an entrapment of soaps, moisture & irritants below them & this can lead to not only eczema but also to fungal & bacterial infections of the hands.
– Always wear gloves or sunscreens while driving to protect the hands from the harmful effects of the sun & to prevent that Aged Look.. In chilly weather also gloves are a must to protect our hands from drying up & chapping.
– For medications it is advisable to see a specialist. Dermatologists know that treatment of Hand Dermatitis is complicated at its best. Even creams & medications used can cause a flare up of the disease if used indiscriminately. Ultimately the difference in going to the pharmacy and picking up a Dhs 10 cream & going to a dermatologist is that of being penny wise and pound foolish as opposed to being Pound Wise & saving yourself a lot of grief in the future.
– In addition to protection & medications, HYDRATING the Hands is a must. This is done by soaking the hands in lukewarm water for 5 – 10 minutes , drying them & immediately using a moisturizer that will seal the soaked moisture within the skin thus, letting it heal thyself. Special additives like Oat milk, colloidal oatmeal, oils, lubricants etc can be added to the water to enhance the hydration & emollient effect.
– Once the hands heal the protective & hydrating measures should be continued regularly to give you that ‘Special Touch’.