Hand Dermatitis

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Hand dermatitis is a common skin condition seen in up to 10% of the population. It is more common in women and in people who have jobs with frequent exposure to chemicals and irritants. The biggest risk factor for developing hand dermatitis is having a previous history of eczema in the skin.  Without treatment, hand dermatitis can become quite severe since we use our hands constantly throughout the day.   Dermatologists treat hand dermatitis with topical cortisone creams, but behavioral changes are just as important. Wearing gloves is essential while cleaning and working with chemicals.  Most dermatologists recommend wearing a thin pair of cotton gloves under rubber gloves so that your hands are not in contact with the rubber, a common contact allergen. Interestingly, baby wipes are a frequent under-reported cause of hand dermatitis.This is due to a common preservative used in personal care products called methylisothiazolinone.  If you think you have hand dermatitis, it is important to see a dermatologist. Dermatologists can do patch testing, if needed, to find out what you are allergic to and can also prescribe a topical cortisone cream to quickly heal the affected skin.