Highlights: What is Hand Eczema?

  • Hand eczema is a common group of acute and chronic eczematous disorders that affect the the hand.
  • Hand eczema is also known as hand dermatitis.
  • Hand eczema is common especially in young adult female.
  • It may occur at any age, including during childhood.
  • It is particularly prevalent in people with a history of atopic eczema.
  • Hand eczema is particularly common in industries involving cleaning, catering, metalwork, hairdressing, healthcare, housework, painting and mechanical work.
  • Hand eczema occurs due to contact with irritants, but specific contact allergies can contribute.
  • Hand ezcema is also caused by genetic and unknown factors, injury, or immune reactions.
  • Hand ezcema is frequently caused or aggravated by work when it is known as occupational dermatitis.
  • Hand eczema can be very itchy, often burns, and is sometimes painful. It has acute, relapsing and chronic phases.
  • Acute hand eczema signs and symptoms include red macules, papules and plaques, swelling, blistering and weeping, and fissuring.
  • Complications of hand dermatitis include bacterial skin infections which result in pustules, crusting and pain, dermatitis at the ends of the fingers may result in deformed nails, and dermatitis can spread to affect other sites, particularly the forearms and feet.