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Ask A Skin Doctor: Infected Hand Eczema

Dear Doctor

What kind of disease is this? With betametasonium or clobetasole propionate temporarily head and then appears again!

pls help! What should I do?

infected hand eczema

Dear Patient

This condition is known as Hand Eczema.

It is a type of irritant contact dermatitis which develops when the hands come in contact with irritating substances.

Causes of Hand Eczema

Common irritants or injurious substances which can trigger this condition include:

1. Soaps and detergents like sodium lauryl sulfate

2. Solvents like alcohol, turpentine and xylene

3. Cement


Treatment of Infected Hand Eczema

The treatment of hand eczema is as follows:

1. Identifying and avoiding the substances that trigger the condition. You can avoid them for example by wearing cotton gloves inside vinyl gloves when doing wet household chores.

2. Cleaning the hands with tepid water and gentle cleansers that do not contain harsh detergents like sodium lauryl sulphate. Mild skin cleansers like Aquanil and Cetaphil are good alternatives to soap.

3. Moisturizing the hands after washing them. You can use 100% pure petroleum jelly like Vaseline or mineral oils since all these prevent the skin from losing its moisture. You can also use bland barrier creams with dimethicone like Cetaphil or those which contain ceramide like Cerave to restore the epidermal barrier.

4. Applying a steroid cream like amcinonide, fluocinolone or betamethasone (Diprosone) for around 1 week.

5. Taking an anthistamine by mouth. Examples include the non-sedating fexofenadine (Allegra) and loratadine (Claritin) as well as the less sedating cetirizine (Zyrtec).

6. Taking antibiotics by mouth to control the infection. Examples include penicillins like dicloxacillin (Dynapen) and cephalosporins like cephalexin (Keflex).

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