Managing hand eczema – my tips

Since I last posted about my eczema, my hands have continued to be in a better state than they have been since it all flared up about ten months ago. I’ve used the ubercream (Protopic) twice in that time when the bubbles started to reappear and it seemed to calm the skin overnight. I still have dry patches and the occasional split, but I would say that the eczema is currently under control. I’ve managed finger-painting, rubbing in the fat for crumble topping and even about half of the Jam’s baths. For anyone suffering with a similar condition, here is what I’d suggest doing to manage it:

  1. Use lots of moisturiser – I’m single-handedly (bad pun – sorry) keeping the company that makes E45 in business, as well as using the prescription emollient that my local pharmacist now sells to me for less than the prescription charge.
  2. Take an oil of evening primrose capsule daily – my doctor suggested it and as it coincided with a marked improvement, I’m going to continue taking them.
  3. Wear rubber gloves EVERY time you do they washing-up, even if it’s just a couple of mugs.
  4. Try to eat well and keep hydrated – I don’t know if it’s related but I’ve switched to wholewheat pasta etc and cut down on alcohol and dairy products. I also drink vast amounts of water (and tea).
  5. Consider a different brand of baby wipes – the Jam’s never had a problem but I find even the unscented / sensitive ones very drying. Ocado stock these, which seem gentler, though you do have to use more and they aren’t cheap!
  6. Avoid commercial soaps, especially heavily scented or solid ones – I find my hands react to many brands and even those that don’t cause a specific reaction are very drying. You can buy good alternatives from a pharmacist, or use the E45 hand wash. (I’m not on commission, honestly!)
  7. Avoid baby shampoo, though Boots own brand isn’t too bad – this is weird as my shampoo is doesn’t cause me any problems. The Jam now has his hair washed on the days DH does the bath.
  8. Stay away from the hydrocortisone!

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