My eczema started on my hands; I remember clear as anything standing outside the History block at school. I was waiting for a mock A-level exam and I saw these watery blisters under the skin on my palms. At the time, I didn’t know what on earth it was. Little did I know then that eczema would go on to play a major role in my future. And that it would make my life a total misery! However, also didn’t know I’d come out the other side. I would end up creating eczema products and sharing information to help thousands of others.
So what is hand eczema and how is it different from other eczema?
It actually has its own name, Dyshidrotic eczema (also sometimes called pompholyx) and it affects women more than men. Many don’t know that it tends to appear on the palm of the hands and soles of the feet. It can also appear on the tips of fingers and toes. It contains small blisters that look like they have water in them. However, when popped (I spent hours popping the blisters, I thought it would stop the itch – it doesn’t) the liquid is sticky. These blisters can often become yellow and crusty and itching is absolutely horrendous.
Guess what causes is? Stress! Which I now know is why it started for me at a particularly stressful time at school during exams.
Hand eczema is such a pain – literally and figuratively. You use your hands for pretty much everything, working, cooking, getting dressed, hair washing, driving etc… And you need to wash them a fair amount too. This means once you have hand eczema, you will often get trapped in a vicious cycle of sore, painful, useless hands. I know this; I was trapped in that cycle for around 12 years, often picking up severe skin infections because my skin was so so damaged by constant use of GP prescribed steroid creams, which thinned my skin. Regularly, I used to wear white cotton gloves in an attempt to protect them, that would stick to the open, weeping blisters.
Like all other forms of eczema, hand eczema is not curable. It is manageable using all the methods I’m always banging on about …. clean up your diet, keep hydrated, take good quality pro-biotics and fish oils, and don’t aggravate it further by using products with perfume, sulphates and other chemical nasties.
So if you have hand eczema, don’t panic;
Don’t get stuck in that vicious cycle: get yourself some chamomile tea, some pro-biotics, some fish oil (make sure it is high in GLA and EPA) and a pot of my Scratchy Balm and get working on making yourself better. Your GP will probably not have the time to explain all this to you, due to time pressures they want to write you a prescription and get you out the door asap; but they’re your hands, so take some responsibility for your own health, do the hard work and they’ll soon be back to normal.
I’ve written soooo many blogs about how to get your skin back on track, just flip back through my blogs and you’ll find lots of useful information. You might also find it useful to read my Eczema Booklet. For washing your hands I’d recommend the Scratchy Soap and for moisturising your hands I’ve made Scratchy Hand Lotion. Here’s the feedback I’ve had from one lovely customer who had the exact same kind of hand eczema I had:
“Having suffered with eczema for 31 years I thought I had tried it all. After a particularly bad bout after my baby was born, I purchased Lisa’s book. I actually cried whilst reading it as I could have written it myself… having eczema on my hands, which would often be blistered and red raw, meant even picking my baby up was painful at times. I couldn’t hold the steering wheel in my car and felt pretty miserable. After following the advice in Lisa’s book, mainly the food and cleaning products advice! I can’t believe the change in my skin (see photos) … thank you Lisa xx”
Customer feedback: Before and after reading my Eczema Booklet:
If you are suffering with hand eczema, I hope there is something I’ve written here that will motivate you to improve your skin, and your life, for the better. Good luck xx