If you’re suffering from eczema on hands, feet, or any other part of your body, you know that it can be difficult, embarrassing and frustrating. To compound matters further, it can often be painful as well. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy home remedies which can help to reduce the symptoms of eczema on hands or any other part of your body.
What is Eczema on Hands?
Eczema on hands is also known as hand dermatitis. It is a rather common condition which affects around 10% of the population of the United States. Irritating substances, contact allergens, and genetics all play a role in triggering this particular type of eczema. It most commonly affects people who work in healthcare, hairdressing, cleaning, and mechanical jobs where they are regularly in contact with chemicals and other irritants.
Hand eczema is not contagious. It is not something which you can “catch” from another person, or that you can give to someone else. Despite this, the symptoms of eczema on the hands can impact a person's self-esteem and their ability to perform their job.
What Does Eczema on Hands Look Like?
Eczema is usually characterized by red, scaly areas, bumps or thicker, leathery patches of skin. It is common to see eczema on fingers as well as fingertip eczema. You also may find eczema between fingers. It’s like other skin conditions, like psoriasis. Since eczema is so easily confused with other skin conditions, you should consult with a dermatologist if you’re unsure if you’re suffering from eczema.
Who is Affected by Hand Eczema?
Eczema is a chronic problem that affects an estimated 35 million Americans. Eczema is even more common in children. Estimates suggest that one in five infants suffer from eczema. Over time, many of the symptoms of eczema fade, but roughly 60% of children who were diagnosed with eczema continue to have symptoms into adulthood.
What Causes Eczema on Hands?
Eczema and hand dermatitis flares up when skin becomes hypersensitive to external factors. Those factors are many, and they can include exposure to chemicals like soap or detergent, the weather, pets, allergies and more. Eczema flare-ups can also be caused by hormones, stress and other internal factors, as well. There are many types of eczema, but the most common is atopic dermatitis.
Signs & Symptoms
The symptoms of eczema can vary from mild skin irritation, to more severe irritation that’s characterized by inflammation, severe itching, weeping and/or oozing sores. In adults, eczema is most common where skin folds, in areas such as the crook of your arm, behind knee caps and on hands and feet. It’s common for eczema to also extend to the wrists, neck, ankles and cheeks. Dermatitis on hands is usually the most common symptom.
Home Remedies for Treating Hand Eczema
If you’re wondering how to treat eczema on hands or any other part of the body, there are several natural eczema remedies. You should also consider consulting with a dermatologist to make sure you’re using the most appropriate treatment methods.
From cooking to personal hygiene, it seems like there’s nothing that coconut oil can’t do. Coconut oil is also a very useful hand eczema treatment. Thanks to its antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant and antimicrobial properties; it makes a great eczema treatment. It also contains caprylic acid, and vitamins E and K. If you’re experiencing a flare-up, rubbing coconut oil on the affected area can provide relief.
Jojoba oil is another popular home remedy for eczema. Since it doesn’t contain any additional ingredients or fragrances, it works as a great moisturizer for anyone suffering from skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Jojoba oil tends to be one of the gentlest plant-based oil for skin care. So, if you find that other oils and moisturizers tend to irritate your skin, this may be the best choice for you.
Vegetable glycerin is another useful treatment because it is a humectant. Humectants help to draw water towards them, which will help your skin to soak up moisture. For this reason, vegetable glycerin can be a very helpful treatment for eczema relief. If you’re looking for a natural cure for eczema, make a solution in a spray bottle with half vegetable glycerin and half water. Then, spray the affected area whenever necessary.
Fermented Cod Liver Oil
Fish oil has long been prized for its laundry list of health benefits. Fish oils are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, which can help with the treatment of skin disorders such as eczema. Unlike other fish oils, cod liver oil is also rich in vitamins A and D which are very helpful in treating issues like eczema.
It’s important to look for a fermented oil. Typically, medical fish oil is derived from cooking the fish it comes from. Unfortunately, this can remove some of the most helpful compounds found in fish oil. Fermented oils don’t rely on cooking to extract the oil, and as a result, they contain more of those helpful compounds which can help treat eczema.
If you spend a lot of time at the beach, you’ve probably noticed that it can help soothe the symptoms caused by eczema. Salt has long been used in various beauty treatments and it’s an effective natural eczema treatment.
To make your own sea spray, boil 12 oz. of water and combine it with a tablespoon of sea salt and a pinch of Epsom salt. Stir the mixture until all the salt has dissolved, and transfer it to a spray bottle once it’s cool. Lightly mist the affected areas with the sea spray throughout the day to experience relief.
Another popular natural treatment for eczema is an Epsom salt bath. Epsom salt is rich in magnesium, and it has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties as well, which makes it useful as an eczema treatment.
To make an Epsom salt bath, fill your tub with hot water. Make sure the water isn’t so hot that it’s uncomfortable. Next, add 1-3 cups of Epsom salt to the bath and allow it to dissolve. Soak in the bath for 20-30 minutes to reap the skin repairing benefits of this treatment.
Like an Epsom salt bath, green clay is rich in magnesium as well as other helpful minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium. Green clay gets its name (and color) from decomposed plant matter that exists in the clay, and it’s one of the best natural remedies for eczema.
To treat eczema, add water to the green clay little by little until you’ve achieved a creamy paste. Next, rub the paste on the affected area. Once the clay has completely dried, wash it off with warm water.
Turmeric is another helpful eczema treatment thanks to its active ingredient, curcumin. Curcumin has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and it has shown the ability to lower the expression of enzymes responsible for eczema flare ups. Adding turmeric to your diet is a great way to treat your eczema proactively.
Probiotics have long been prized for their wide range of health benefits. Keep in mind that there are tons of different strains of probiotics and not all of them are helpful for treating eczema. The strain of probiotics which is helpful as an eczema treatment is Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, which is commonly known as LGG. This probiotic is readily available in pill form, and it can be a great way to reduce the severity and frequency of eczema flare-ups.
Foods that are rich in gelatin like bone broth can be an effective addition to your eczema fighting regime. A common cause of eczema flare ups occurs when undigested proteins can leave your gut lining and enter the bloodstream. This process triggers an immune response, which leads to inflammation and often manifests itself with eczema flare ups.
Drinking bone broth or eating other gelatin-rich foods can help to stop these undigested proteins from entering the bloodstream, which can help prevent eczema flare ups.
Homemade Healing Lotion / Salve
This homemade healing lotion works wonders for soothing the itching associated with eczema. It will also improve the appearance of your skin and provide essential moisture as well. Here’s what you’ll need:
- ½ cup raw shea butter
- ½ cup coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 30 drops lavender essential oil
- 10 drops tea tree essential oil
Heat the shea butter and coconut oil in a double burner. If you don’t have a double burner, a pyrex pan filled with boiling water and a bowl will do just as well. Once the shea butter and coconut oil are combined, add your other ingredients. Next, mix the ingredients thoroughly using an electric mixer or good old-fashioned elbow grease. Once you’ve achieved a lotion-like consistency, your homemade salve is ready to use.
Oatmeal is a great way to reduce the itching caused by eczema. To create an oatmeal bath, grind a cup of raw, unflavored oatmeal into a powder using a food processor, coffee grinder or blender. Add the oatmeal to a hot bath and stir until the oatmeal is distributed throughout the water. Soak in the bath for 15-30 minutes to reap the benefits of the healing properties of oatmeal.
Chamomile possesses soothing properties which makes it a great way to reduce the itching and redness associated with eczema. It’s widely available in many different over the counter lotions. You can also make your own by adding chamomile essential oil to the unscented lotion of your choice.
Fish Oil Supplement
Fish oil is a highly useful supplement for several different health issues, including eczema thanks to its abundance of Omega-3 fatty acids. Cod liver oil is the most useful in treating eczema. However, any fish oil can help with your symptoms.
Honey can be used internally as well as topically to treat eczema symptoms. Dissolve a tablespoon of honey in a glass of warm water and add 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar or lime juice and drink twice daily. You can also apply honey topically to reduce the severity of eczema flare-ups.
Cornstarch and Oil
Cornstarch is another everyday item which possesses soothing properties which can benefit eczema sufferers. Create a paste using cornstarch and olive oil, and let it sit on the affected area for about 20 minutes.
Prevention Tips for Eczema on Hands
While it’s impossible to prevent eczema flare ups completely, there are some steps you can take in your everyday life to minimize the frequency and severity of eczema flare-ups.
- Avoid exposure to cold, dry air in the winter months by using warm socks, gloves, and scarves.
- Opt for fragrance-free lotions, soaps, and bath products, as the fragrances used are a known skin irritant that contributes to eczema flare-ups.
- Integrate things like fish oil, turmeric, chamomile and honey into your diet.
- Avoid water-free hand sanitizers which contain alcohol, which has a drying effect on the skin.
Eczema on Hands: Conclusion
This article has highlighted some of the best home remedies for eczema on the hands.
Do you have any tips of your own for relieving eczema on the hands? We would love to hear your ideas and experiences. Please leave us a comment in the comments section below this article.