Eczema?? Very dry skin problem on hands..HELP!

Steve White sjwhiteNOSPAMPLEASE at
Sun Nov 23 21:48:30 EST 1997

Sounds very much like eczema. I've had it since I was a child but from
the age of around 7 it gradually went away. Although I had it
occasionally on my feet, ankles, elbows and knees I never remember
having it on my hands - until about 4 years ago. It got really bad.

I used to get it on the palms of my hands and on knuckles etc. Through
trial and error I have found that the following things make it
significantly worse although its virtually impossible to say what
causes it:-

1. Strong Shampoo

I wash my hair daily and Vosene makes the palm of my hand go dry and

2. Hard Manual Work

I play drums and carrying the drums, speakers etc. and then playing
for 2 hours and carrying them back gives me dry patches everywhere
which can split - very painful.

3. Dairy Products

Drinking a lot of milk or eating cheese. This is a very common cause &
people can be very susceptible. Just one bar of chocolate used to make
a girl I know break out in dry patches.

4. Stress

When I go through stretches of stress / lack of sleep / too much work.
I break out - it actually looks a bit like a rash to begin with and I
get lots of little bumps on my knuckles etc. Driving a lot has the
same effet.

5. Allergic Reaction

I am allergic to house dust and cats. Both of these make it worse.

6. Getting Sweaty

Kills my feet & I have to choose shoes very carefully but can also
cause problems with my hands eg. driving, playing drums etc.

The problem in identifying causes and stimulants is that it sometimes
takes a while for the effect to take hold and of course there can be
many different factors. It is also difficult to know what actually
causes it because it takes so long to get rid of it so that you can
cut out possible causes and introduce them one by one. Personally I
can't go without chocolate for more than 2 days!

At its worst my problem can't even be cleared by really strong steriod
creams and I gave up using them because I decided they weren't a long
term solution.

Good Luck.

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