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Hand allergy, also known as hand eczema, is a type of allergy that arises when the hands come into contact with an aggressive agent, causing skin irritation and leading to the appearance of some signs and symptoms such as redness and itchy hands.
The symptoms of this type of allergy can appear immediately or up to 12 hours after contact with the irritating substance, being mainly triggered by some type of detergent or cleaning products.
Hand allergy can be confused with psoriasis, in which dryness and peeling of the skin is noticed, or with dehidrosis, in which red blisters form that are intensely itchy. Therefore, it is important that the person consults the dermatologist so that the symptoms are evaluated and the most appropriate treatment is indicated.
Symptoms of hand allergy
The main symptoms of hand allergy are:
- Skin peeling from palm and between fingers.
This allergy can be located in a part of the hands, in only one hand, or be the same in both hands at the same time. In less severe cases the hands may be just a little dry and with a slight flaking, but in more severe cases these symptoms are more intense. In addition, in some cases the fingertips and nails can also be affected, and they may be deformed.
What can cause hand allergy
Generally hand allergies are not caused by just one factor, but a combination of several factors such as genetic predisposition, contact with potentially irritating cleaning products such as soap, detergent, chlorine, paint and solvents.
In this case, the products remove the skin's natural protection, leading to dehydration and eliminating the lipid layer, which makes the skin of the hands drier and unprotected, facilitating the proliferation of microorganisms, which can aggravate the allergy.
Other situations that can also cause allergies are tattooing with henna, wearing jewelry such as rings and bracelets, frequent exposure to cold or heat, and frequent rubbing of the skin.
People who are more likely to develop contact dermatitis on their hands are those who work as painters, hairdressers, butchers, he alth professionals because they have to wash their hands too often, cleaning employees and general services by frequent contact with cleaning products. However, anyone can have allergies on their hands throughout their lives.
Hand allergy treatment
Treatment for hand allergy must be indicated by the doctor, but in general, it is advisable:
- Always wear rubber gloves whenever you wash dishes, clothes or use other cleaning products to avoid direct skin contact with these types of products;
- Avoid washing your hands too often, even if you wash only with water, but if it is extremely necessary, always apply a layer of moisturizing cream to your hands immediately afterwards;
- In less severe cases, when there is still no inflammation, always use moisturizing creams with urea and soothing oils that reduce local irritation, on days when the skin is more irritated and sensitive;
- In more severe cases, where there are signs of inflammation, it may be necessary to apply some hand allergy ointment or anti-inflammatory cream with corticosteroids, such as betamethasone, which should be prescribed by the dermatologist;
- When there are signs of infection in the hands, the doctor may prescribe medication such as prednisone for 2 to 4 weeks;
- In cases of chronic allergy, which does not improve with treatment for 4 weeks, other drugs may be indicated, such as azathioprine, methotrexate, cyclosporine or alitretinoin.
Some complications that can occur when hand allergy is not properly treated are bacterial infection by Staphylococcus or Streptococcus, which can form pustules, crusts and pain.