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Dry Patches of Skin on My Hands

Dry Patches of Skin on My Hands Dry Patches of Skin on My Hands Dry Patches of Skin on My Hands

Overview

Dry patches on the hand are commonly caused by eczema or psoriasis of the hands. These patches can be uncomfortable, as well as unsightly and embarrassing. Learning the underlying cause and creating a treatment plan with your doctor will help you get dry patches of skin on the hands under control.

Causes

Causes of eczema appear to be dry, irritated skin combined with an immune system problem. Stress can also aggravate this condition. Eczema also runs in families, which suggests a genetic link to the condition.

Psoriasis of the hands appears to be connected to the immune system as well. The T cells attack healthy skin cells, causing dry patches of skin and irritation on the hands.

Treatments

If you have eczema on your hands, use a mild, perfume-free soap when you wash them. Blot them gently after washing and apply a heavy-duty moisturizer. You could try using petroleum jelly instead of a lotion. Your doctor might also recommend the use of corticosteroid creams to minimize the skin irritation that accompanies the dryness.

Hand psoriasis is also treated with corticosteroid creams. Your doctor might also prescribe a vitamin D cream, which slows down the growth of skin cells. Topical retinoid creams, such as tazarotene, may also be used for psoriasis of the hands. Moisturizing the skin regularly can relieve the dryness and itching that accompanies this condition. Use a perfume-free, hypoallergenic lotion.

Considerations

Protect your hands when you're cleaning the house. Some household cleaners can irritate the hands and make dry patches on the skin worse. Use vinyl or rubber gloves to protect your hands from chemicals. Even folding the laundry can irritate your hands because the friction of the cloth fibers causes irritation. Try using cotton gloves for that task.

When you're cooking with acidic foods, like tomatoes and citrus, wear a pair of vinyl gloves to protect your hands. The National Eczema Association recommends wearing vinyl gloves no longer than 15 minutes, however.

Misconceptions

Some people forget these skin conditions have triggers. For example, stress, heavy alcohol consumption and smoking can make your eczema or psoriasis worse. Scale back on these to minimize the occurrence of dry patches on the hands. You are also more likely to develop skin problems if you are struggling with an infection or have an injury to the skin.

Warnings

Some people use alternative therapies to treat dry hands. It's important to consult your doctor before using these products. This is especially true for oral supplements, which may interact with prescription medications. Extracts you may see recommended to treat dry skin include chamomile, licorice root and aloe vera gel.

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