What is Hand Eczema (Dermatitis)
Eczema, also called dermatitis. 'Hand dermatitis' is a broad term for any type of eczema that develops on the hands. Hand dermatitis often has unique causes, commonly job-related and can require specific testing and treatments.
How Common is Hand Dermatitis?
- An estimated 2% to 10% of the general population is affected by hand dermatitis.
- 20% to 35% of all dermatitis affects the hands.
- 9% to 35% of all occupational disease and up to 80% or more of all occupational contact dermatitis. Five occupations were responsible for more than 60% of these cases:
- 1-Housekeeper, 2-Bricklayer, 3-Worker in metallurgic or mechanical industry, 4-Hairdresser, 5-Health care worker
- higher than average risk include: janitors and housecleaners, florists, bakers, bartenders, caterers, cooks, and agricultural workers.
Risk Factors for Hand Dermatitis
- Medical condition-a history of atopic disease (atopic dermatitis, asthma, or hay fever) increases the risk
- Occupation -"Wet work" -hand washing, using chemicals and solvents can play a role.
- Stress-cmay worsen all types of eczema
- Environment-low humidity and cold weather strips skin of moisture which increases risk of developing some types of hand dermatitis. Alternately, sometimes heat and high humidity play a role. Perspiration under gloves can contribute to hand dermatitis
What Else Can Look Like Dermatitis
- Well demarcated scaly plaques, with scales which may not be silvery.
- Psoriasis affecting the hands is most prominent over pressure points
- Usually relative lack of itching
- Often psoriasis elsewhere on body
- Nails may show features of psoriasis: pits, oil spots, subungual hyperkeratosis, splinter hemorrhages, onycholysis (lifting up of distal nail).
- Lichen Planus must be also considered