Hand eczema is the most common occupational disease and accounts for up to 80% of all cases of skin inflammation. The main cause of hand eczema is over washing of the hands, which strips the skin of its natural protective barrier. This causes the skin to dry and crack leaving it exposed to bacteria and germs.
Another cause of eczema can be allergies. It can be an allergy to rubber in a glove. It can be an allergy to leather. It can be an allergy to metal.
What our hands are exposed to can lead to irritation and eczema. Chemical solvents are everywhere and often irritate the hands once again stripping the skin of its protective barrier.
Thousands Of Work Hours Lost
Thousand of work hours are lost each year due to hand eczema. Effective treatment is therefore vital. It is best to use a gentle cleanser when washing your hands.
The skin needs to be kept well moisturised, retain its natural oils and protected from harmful external irritants. Barrier creams prevent irritants in the environment from getting into the skin and removing the oils.
If you have a mild case of eczema a simple petroleum jelly can act as a great skin barrier after washing your hands.
What to do
The hands need to be moisturised after every exposure to water. This can be with a barrier cream like Grahams Sooth-It Balm or simply with a basic moisturiser. It is a matter of what works best for you.
If eczema is present on the hands a treating cream needs to be applied regularly (as instructed), especially after exposure to water. It is important to remember that most creams designed to treat the symptoms of eczema are not actual moisturisers. They need to be used in conjunction with a moisturiser, and are most effective if applied immediately after a moisturiser has been used.
Treat your hands each evening (Mel’s Recommendation)
To best control your eczema treat your hands at the end of each day. Soak your hands in a bowl of warm water with a few drops of Grahams Bath Oil. Allow your hands to soak for 10 – 15 minutes. The oil in the water will soften and moisturise the skin and negate the negative drying effects of water on its own. The oil will also act as a barrier locking in natural oils and blocking out harmful external irritants.
After your hands have soaked gently pat them dry and apply Calendulis Plus Cream. It is after the hands have soaked that they are the softest and most receptive to the effects of the Calendulis Plus Cream.
To help protect the hands overnight and reduce damage to the rest of the body by scratching wear cotton gloves.