Picture of hand eczema or irritant contact dermatitis
What is Hand Eczema or Irritant Contact Dermatitis?
Irritant contact dermatitis or hand eczema is an eczematous rash that develops when the skin comes into contact with injurious or irritating substances that have a direct toxic effect on it.
What are the Risk Factors for developing Hand Eczema or Irritant Contact Dermatitis?
Some groups of people are more prone to developing irritant contact dermatitis or hand eczema. These include:
2. Workers whose jobs involve frequent contact with water, food materials and chemicals such as cleaners, hair dressers and chefs.
Where Does Hand Eczema or Irritant Contact Dermatitis Occur?
The most commonly affected areas are the hands.
What are the Symptoms of Hand Eczema or Irritant Contact Dermatitis?
Patients usually give a history of:
1. Coming in contact with a potential irritant
2. Developing an itchy or burning sensation on the skin when they do so
What are the Physical Findings of Hand Eczema or Irritant Contact Dermatitis?
Patients develop erythematous (red), hyperkeratotic (scaly) areas with fissures and mild edema (swelling) on the affected areas. These areas may become very inflamed if the irritating substance was very toxic. The fissures are painful and make using the hand very difficult.
For more info on how a diagnosis of irritant contact dermatitis is made and hand dermatitis treatment, read Irritant Contact Dermatitis by Dr Miriam Kinai.