To protect your hands from hand dermatitis and irritation, follow the below steps:
- Wear task-appropriate protective gloves, preferably cotton-padded, to avoid contact with harsh chemicals or acidic foods.
- Wash your hands without irritating them. Wash your hands with lukewarm water. Avoid using water which is too hot which can be too irritating and strips the skin of its natural oils. Wash hands with a gentle soap for at least 20 seconds, then dry them well. This is adequate to clean the hands from all the microbes. Avoid using antibacterial soaps, as they are too irritating for the skin and do not have any added benefit.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitisers when needed and when there is no access to soap, water and a sink. Carry a small bottle and use it after coming in contact with people and surfaces. Hand sanitisers should not replace adequate hand washing, as sanitising is less effective.
- Apply a moisturiser after washing the hands, and apply a moisturizer often and generously.
- If you do develop a hand rash consult your dermatologist to identify the cause of the rash and receive treatment immediately. If your doctor suspects an allergic rash, patch testing may be done to identify the allergen that needs to be avoided.