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Hand Eczema: Understanding the Types & Treatments

dry cracked hands

dry hands with hand eczema

Pompholyx eczema, or hand eczema, is one type of eczema that is localized to hands. There are different types of hand eczema or hand dermatitis, for example, pompholyx (or dyshidrotic) that is characterized by itchy blisters on the palm of the hands. However, the most common form of hand eczema is due to frequent exposure to common chemical irritants, such as detergents, soaps, other cleansing and sanitizing products, or bleach. It often affects people whose job requires frequent hand washing, for example, healthcare professionals, hairdressers, food processing workers, or gardeners.


We’ll offer several tips for managing hand eczema and recommend several products with the proper pH to reduce eczema flare-ups and fortify your skin from the rigors of daily life. Finding the right moisturizing products is critical for breaking the cycle of eczema and finding relief.


Skin 101

Your skin is remarkable in its ability to protect, heal, and regenerate. The skin creates a physical barrier to protect your internal systems from the harsh external environment. Your skin works overtime to keep your body healthy, fighting off allergens, UV radiation, pollution, and microbes.


But sometimes, your skin barrier can get out of sync and struggle to retain moisture, fight allergens, and maintain immunity levels. When this happens, your hand's skin can become dry, rough, inflamed, itchy, and irritated, further weakening your skin barrier. When this happens, your skin can become extra sensitive and develop eczema.


Your hands can become particularly susceptible to developing hand eczema because of their exposure to many elements and constant cleansing. Gratefully, there are many options for managing and treating hand eczema to restore your skin to a healthier state.


Related Link: The Basics: Skin 101


A dab of moisturizer is good for hand eczema

5 Tips for Managing Itchy, Flaky Skin

Here are five of the best tips recommended by dermatologist Xiaoxiao Li, MD, for managing and treating itchy, flaky skin on your hands:


What’s Inside Counts

Be sure to read product ingredients. Pretty packaging and effective marketing can mislead or misstate research on the validity of the products. Becoming educated on which ingredients are effective can help cut through buzzwords and advertising. Proven active ingredients that restore the skin barrier include:


  • Ceramide
  • Niacinamide
  • Phytosphingosine
  • Citric Acid
  • Sunflower Seed Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Shea Butter
  • Colloidal Oatmeal
  • Amino Acids
  • Glycerin
  • Hyaluronic Acid (HA)
  • Xanthan Gum

Organic Doesn’t Always Equal Better

While natural ingredients seem like a good idea, some natural ingredients can actually irritate the skin. Many extracts that are derived from fruit or algae can actually aggravate your skin. You’re better off looking for ingredients that are proven to be gentler on the skin.


Pay Attention to Skin pH

Your skin’s pH balance is critical to maintaining healthy skin and reducing hand eczema. Unfortunately, many hand soaps and lotions have a pH of 5.5, which is too high and can disrupt your skin’s pH. Research recommends that the skin barrier should have a pH of 4.7. You should look for products with this lower pH level because it can reduce eczema flare-ups.


Less, Not More

Don’t overdo it. Many people over-treat their skin in an effort to speed healing, but this can disrupt the natural healing process and irritate the skin more. You’ll want to avoid traditional soaps because they contain high alkaline levels that can disrupt your skin’s pH balance. You’re better off using small amounts of gentle cleansing products.


The Importance of Moisture


Moisturizer is the most critical product for your skin. Because hand washing depletes the skin’s lipids, you need a moisturizer that restores lipids to replenish the skin barrier. You should pick moisturizers free of preservatives, alcohol, and fragrance for the best results.


Are you looking for a healing moisturizer with gentle ingredients that can ease the symptoms of your hand eczema? Shop our pH-balanced skincare products with a 30-day return policy.


Related Link: Frequently Asked Questions about Soteri Products


Soteri’s pH/LOCK™


pH/LOCK™ is a unique formulation designed to restore your skin’s pH to 4.7 and maintain this level for at least twelve hours. This formulation also protects your skin against environmental irritants, stimulates skin barrier repair, and fortifies the skin's acid mantle.


pH/LOCK™ contains carefully-curated ingredients that are proven to restore and protect your skin. The ingredients that rejuvenate the skin barrier and stimulate cell turnover include ceramide, niacinamide, phytosphingosine, and citric acid. Citric acid is critical to healing eczema because it can block bacterial enzymes that break down ceramides in the skin.


By using skin moisturizers that utilize this formulation, you’ll enable your skin to restore and maintain the proper pH balance to reduce and prevent eczema. The pH/LOCK™ formulation can be found in Soteri’s Balancing ACT and GIMME MORE skin treatments.


Soteri Balancing Cream

Soteri’s Balancing ACT moisturizing cream is specially designed for sensitive skin. This lightweight moisturizer is ideal for the face and hands. It contains hydroxyl acids, amino acids, fatty acids, and carbohydrates that are ideal for maintaining an optimal skin barrier pH.


We recommend that you use the cream twice daily. But for hands that are particularly sensitive to hand eczema flare-ups, you may want to apply the cream after every time you wash your hands to restore the pH to your skin.


Soteri Barrier Cream

Soteri’s GIMME MORE barrier cream is a richer, creamier moisturizer intended for soothing angry skin that demands more attention. The GIMME MORE moisturizer creates a stronger barrier between your skin and external agitators.


We recommend using this barrier cream in the morning after you shower and in the evening. You should reapply after washing your hands, but be mindful not to overuse the cream. Remember, less is more. A little moisturizer goes a long way. 


Healed, moisturized hands



Take Care of Your Hands

Hand eczema can be very painful and itchy. Finding a moisturizing cream that can restore your pH balance to your skin is essential to repairing hands plagued with itchy eczema patches. You’ll want to ensure you select a cream that contains gentle, proven ingredients to restore your skin’s barrier and health.


Soteri’s moisturizing products are scientifically formulated with proven ingredients to protect, restore, and heal your skin’s overall health. Our products heal and rebalance your skin’s barrier and fight against common skin conditions like eczema.


Want to know more about the proven ingredients used in our pH/LOCK™ formulation? Learn more about the ingredients and their specific healing properties.


Related Link: Soteri Testimonials
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