Hand dermatitis

Hand dermatitis is a contact dermatitis caused by an irritant—an external substance that causes abrasion and irritation or damage to the outermost layer of the epidermis. Symptoms include burning, itching, and hyperesthesia at the site of contact with an irritant.

Lesions typically cover the hands. Contact dermatitis arises due to contact with an allergen that is present in everyday life or at work. The inflammation may be acute or chronic. The lesions are indistinctly demarcated from their surroundings, and blisters and exuding papules occur, accompanied by itching. Substances with high sensitizing potential include nickel, mixtures of rubber, mixes of fragrances, topical antibiotics, potassium dichromate, and factors.

Treatment: Avoid irritants, do not wash the hands too frequently, avoid contact with water; the use of emollients helps the protective barrier of the epidermis to recover, regardless of the type of inflammation. Emollients and barrier creams should be used regularly to prevent skin dryness and the irritation caused by chemical compounds. Emollients should be applied immediately after washing, to prevent water loss. Wear suitable protective gloves (vinyl or cotton) and mild soap when washing, to minimize the symptoms. Patch tests are effective in detecting potential contact allergens. In treatment of contact dermatitis, topical corticosteroids, antibiotics, pimecrolimus, oral antihistamines, and UV irradiation are used. In the most severe cases, corticosteroids are used for a short time.

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