Contact Dermatitis, Ouch! Help!

  1. I know dry hands have been addressed, but I'm not there yet.
    The backs of my hands look like they have first degree burns!They feel like it too!
    Gloves are latex and powder free. I'm sure the soap doesn't help. I can bring my own provided it's anti bacterial. Suggestions?
    I bet the paper towels don't help. So, do I wipe my hands on my pants?
    Anything else that might help is also sought.
    Thank you in advance! I'm not ready for a career in telephone triage yet!
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  2. 4 Comments

  3. by   LTC-LPN
    ...I use cool water when I wash my hands at work.

    I also lotion my hands after showering when they are still damp and lotion at night before bed.

    When the tips of my fingers split from the dryness, I use "new skin" liquid bandage.

    Dry chapped hands are a chronic problem for me. I hope some others have ideas to try too.

    Jane Ann
  4. by   P_RN
    i have one finger that gets like that. when i saw the dermatologist he thought it was latex allergy, and my titers seemed to agree. i don't think i've been exposed to any latex recently, but about every month to 6 weeks the dermatitis will flare again.

    i agree with the paper towel assessment....the brown ones were terrible, the white bleached ones did a little better.

    what i have been doing is when it first breaks out is use some zovirax creme once, then follow up with hydrocortisone creme about 3x day for a couple of days. it goes away. i really don't know why. my doc said as long as it works that it's fine to treat it that way.

    i also use either neutrogena creme or the bag balm creme. it's funny but only this one finger is affected, but boy does it hurt!!
    ------edit-----

    another thought is to see if they will get you some non latex gloves. the nitrile ones really help. (i liked the purple ones)
    Last edit by P_RN on Jan 7, '02
  5. by   ratchit
    Ouch! I had something similar a few years back. Started with chapped skin, but 8 or 10 of us in the same unit started to have the same problem at the same time so they said it couldn't be latex. Some people ended up having contact dermatitis from the soap and needed to stop using the "gentle lotion" stuff. For some reason the clear but stronger CHG soap seemed to help. Some people were told they needed to dry their hands more thoroughly to avoid chapping and that helped some. A couple of us ended up having latex sensitivities. You have to be careful- they can escalate very quickly after they first show up. I went from rashes to near anaphylaxis within months, even after stopping the use of all things with known latex.

    You might get random events because latex is so sneaky. Some things don't have latex in the product but latex was used in the manufacturing. Maybe you touched an adhesive on a peel-off lid of something and that was the culprit. I worked with a nurse once who ended up vented and on an epi drip because the guy at the deli made her sandwich wearing latex gloves. There are cross sensitivites with some fruits- maybe you came in contact with that, not latex.

    For general chapping, I've tried everything. Neutrogena seems to do well, but my favorite is Vaseline Intensive Healing lotion.
  6. by   LilgirlRN
    Lots of us have had the same kind of rash and we have found that its a combination of the soap and the gloves. Soap with Triclosan (If I remember right) and not getting your hands dry enough before putting gloves on for the next patient was the culprit. Had a rash on the back of my hands that looked like sunburn from a distance, but if you looked at it up close looked like teeny tiny petichiae and made the skin feel very rough to the touch. I started using my own soap,drying very well and then applying Eucerin, it got better very quickly.

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Contact Dermatitis, Ouch! Help!