One exceedingly tough thing about the winter months, besides shorter days and the stress of the holidays, is how the weather can badly compromise the skin of the hands. Sometimes the extra dryness in the air can lead to hands becoming irritated. Things such as washing dishes and constant hand washing can also contribute to this issue. What dermatologists have uncovered is that typically hand rashes occur because of something you touched, the environment, or something going on in your body.
There are many reasons for hand rashes, says Dr. Melissa Piliang, a board-certified dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. The most common cause is eczema, but some hand rashes may have an allergic cause. Sometimes, an allergy can develop after years of touching the same things daily without a problem, like your wedding ring, skin care products or foods such as fish, garlic or citrus fruits. There are certain ways that you can prevent these type of rashes from occurring on your hands. Preventative measures are not always 100 percent foul proof but they do often provide healthy benefits that can prevent issues.
Always try to wear protective gloves when doing gardening or housework of any kind as well as when you're doing the dishes, cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, or touching any type of chemical or relatively foreign entity. As mentioned above, just because you've been able to touch something without issue for a portion of time, does not mean that will always be the case. It does not mean that an ingredient within a specific cleaner or fertilizer won't cause your skin to start reacting badly.
Wear gloves out in cold temperatures. Protecting your hands isn't just for chores. The chilling winds can be absolutely disastrous on hands if you aren't mindful. Opt for insulated gloves when you are outside in low temperatures.
Choose a mild moisturizing cleanser. You have to wash your hands to keep up with basic hygiene. In doing so, you should be mindful of what you're using on your hands. Make sure that there aren't any harsh or stripping chemicals in your hand soap. Also, make sure to opt for a rich hand cream that will make sure to replenish the oils that are stripped away in the washing process. You should apply the cream immediately after washing and drying your hands.
Don't let your hands get in a position to be dry because that's the perfect breeding ground for irritated skin to take place. Thousands of things can cause a hand rash, yet most hand rashes look a lot alike to the untrained eye. If you get a hand rash, see a board-certified dermatologist to help identify the cause and prevent it from becoming painful or disabling, suggests Dr. Piliang.
While there are certain anti-itch and rash ointments and creams you can purchase over the counter at your local drug store, you'll want to check with a doctor to properly diagnosis the problem. It's also possible that you'll need an ointment that you can only get via a prescription if the rash is really bad or becomes something that you can't easily control in other ways. Take care of your hands during these cold and bitter months. Prevent the onslaught of hand rashes.