Help! My hand's a flake!
November 22, 2011 7:13 AM Subscribe
I have eczema all over my dominant hand, which is making some day to day tasks difficult. What are some ways of getting around this?
posted by mippy to health & fitness (14 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
(Background - I'm in the UK, and we can't just up and see a dermatologist - we have to be referred via a GP. As this is seen as a relatively minor complaint, it's unlikely. Nobody knows what causes it - the last time I had an attack this bad was ten years ago, when I lived in a different part of the country with different water content (water and cold seems to have an effect) and I haven't made any significant changes to my lifestyle that might be causing it again.)
I have pretty bad eczema all over the third finger and little finger on my right hand. I can type, and I can more or less hold a pen, but many other things are difficult. The increased sensitivity to temperature makes handling hot mugs difficult (I tend to hold mugs by the 'cup' rather than the handle as I am less likely to spill them this way) and I can't grip handles very easily. I can just about use a hand sewing needle, but my poor grip means I can't use, say, a crochet hook or fabric scissors very well. And the most frustrating thing is that it really hurts when I try and wash my hair in the shower - doing it one-handed doesn't work, and it's hard to stop my sore fingers from coming into contact with the hair - or use soap and shower gel. (I dye my hair but I'm not risking it at the moment). There is some cracking and bleeding so avoiding soap at all seems a bad idea as I don't want to risk infection.
I'm using a barrier cream (not sure of the name but it's an emollient containing liquid petroleum and urea) as well as some Palmer's Olive Butter that's on my desk, but it still itches and flakes and really hurts. I will be seeing my GP this week for somethign else and I may see if I can get some steroid cream, but in my experience this makes my skin feel brittle and tight.
Any ideas on how I can avoid irritation? During my last bad attack the skin got so sore that I couldn't actually move my fingers, and I want to avoid this!