Mayo Clinic Listed common symptoms of atopic dermatitis:
- A red rash.
- Itching, which may be severe.
- Dry, cracked, scaly skin.
- Bumps and blisters, sometimes with oozing and crusting.
- Swelling, burning or tenderness.
Atopic dermatitis (often referred to as eczema) is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder with a complex pathogenesis involving genetic susceptibility, immunologic and epidermal barrier dysfunction, and environmental factors. Pruritus is the early symptom; skin lesions including from mild hives to severe lichenification. Diagnosis is by history and examination. Treatment is moisturizers, avoidance of allergic and irritant triggers, and often topical corticosteroids or immune modulators. Childhood atopic dermatitis frequently resolves or lessens significantly by adulthood.
Atopic dermatitis has a huge impact on people’s lives when it’s severe or even in mild cases, says Ross S. Levy, MD, chief of dermatology at Northern Westchester Hospital Center in Mount Kisco, N.Y. Although experts not sure exactly what causes dermatitis, most believe it can be a combination of people’s environment and genetics. In the most common cases, atopic dermatitis is triggered by something and goes into overdrive, leading to sensitive, dry flaky skin. The conditions doesn’t go away and is treatable, although incurable. Certain things, such as allergy, dust exposure, or weather changes, can make symptoms worse. Like eczema that appears elsewhere on the body, symptoms of hand eczema includes red, itchy, scaly, painful palms and hands that are dry and cracked. Atopic dermatitis usually appears in infancy, typically by 3 mo. In the acute phase, the skin lesions are red, scaly patches or plaques. Occasionally blisters are present. In the chronic phase, scratching and rubbing create skin lesions that appear dry and scratchy.In infants, lesions commonly occur on the face, scalp, neck, and surfaces of the extremities. In children and adults, lesions occur on such as the neck, the back, the hands and the feet. Intense pruritus is a key symptom. Itch often comes earlier than lesions, and worsens with allergen exposures, dry air, sweating, irritation, and anxiety.
“It could happen easily from washing your hands regularly or changes in temperature, people who are in a cold environment,” says Gil Yosipovitch, MD, professor of dermatology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and author of Living with Itch. “These are very common things that can happen to a lot of people.”
Eczema can drive people mad with itchy blisters on the hands, fingers, feet, and toes. The key to prevent and treat eczema is to find out the triggers and avoid those triggers whenever possible. Here, a few smart strategies that may help keep hand eczema at bay. It’s also a good idea to see a dermatologist, who may suggest stronger topical or other treatments to treat underlying inflammation, depending on your symptoms.
• Apply a moisturizer right after washing hands and regularly throughout the day. “Moisturizing the skin is extremely important,” says Dr. Yosipovitch. “It should be part of a daily routine.”
• Stay away from antibacterial soaps. “These irritate the skin more than giving benefit,” says Dr. Yosipovitch. Waterless cleansers are more likely to contain alcohol and chemicals that may trigger a flare.
• Take care of any skin breaks or cuts before chemicals have a chance to come in and cause irritation.