My poor screaming overwashed hands!

  1. I guess my skin is just hypersensitive but my hands are frequently screaming red and burning! It is definately from washing so much because there becomes a demarcated redness at my wrists. It is clearly the worst after 3 12's. Does anyone have any suggestions? I don't want 80 year old hands at 30! We are not supposed to use anything except the hospital provided lotion at work for infection control reasons, but that stuff is worthless. I use Eucerin before bed, but I can't walk around during waking hours with Eucerin slathered all over my hands! any suggestions from similar sufferers would be greatly appreciated!
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  2. 22 Comments

  3. by   sunnygirl272
    is it the washing, or the gloves? could you be allergic to the powder and/or the latex?
  4. by   ShandyLynnRN
    I know of a few ppl that bring palmolive dish soap to work to use instead of the hospital stuff. That stuff is brutal!! I dont have sensitive skin, and mine even get bad after 3 12's using that stuff
  5. by   eak16
    weird, I was just trying to figure out what to do to stop the burning on my own hands right now, and i know it is just going to get worse with another shift tomorrow. Red, patchy, itchy, aarghh!
    Lately i have been using a sugar scrub- its basically just large grain sugar saturated with canola oil and vitamin E. You rub it on gently for a few minutes then soak hands in warm water until it comes off. I dont know if it really helps or not, but hey, it feels good and the placebo effect is real right?
  6. by   deespoohbear
    That anti-bacterial soap is mean stuff on hands. I have used Corn Husker's lotion in the past. Apply it to my hands before bed, put on cotton gloves and go to sleep. Usually helps some. Maybe you ought to see a dermatologist for recommendations. Fortunately, my hands usually don't get too bad. One of our nurses though, her hands crack and bleed every winter...poor thing.... Hope you find something to help your hands.....
  7. by   NurseWeasel
    I'm going with the glove reaction here. Especially with the clear demarkation on the wrist, you know water doesn't stop in a straight line... but gloves do. Try wearing nonlatex gloves on your next few shifts and make ONLY that change (same soap, same lotion). If that makes no difference, change just the soap. If that doesn't help, see someone at work about getting an approved lotion substitution. By ruling things out one at a time you should be able to at least reduce the problem once you figure out which is causing it.

    Start with the gloves, though. Many people can't use the latex, and it's not always apparent for a while... it seems to develop.

    Good luck to you.
  8. by   Stargazer
    I agree that you need to R/O a latex or other contact allergy first. However, assuming that you do feel confident that that's not the problem, I highly recommend Kerodex. Takes a few minutes to apply correctly, but it's a barrier cream that will protect your hands through multiple handwashings.
  9. by   OzNurse69
    A few things that a drug rep recommended to me once - they seem to work:

    * use cool water, not warm or hot (contrary to what we used to be told, it's the soap not the water temp that kills the bugs!)

    * always wet your hands before applying the soap

    * make sure you rinse every last little bit of soap off them

    * pat hands dry, don't rub

    Having said that, I have to agree with the posters above who have said that if there is a definite demarkation line, it sounds more like the gloves you are wearing, either the latex or the powder. Same as NurseWeasel, I would suggest a trial with different gloves, then different soap etc., but one thing at a time.

    Good luck!!
  10. by   renerian
    I used to use this and it does help. I would have a latex allergy screen done to rule that issue out.

    renerian
  11. by   adrienurse
    I hear you sister! Boy, can I relate.
  12. by   Kimburly
    Thanks for the replies! My facility recently switched to non latex gloves and it has continued since then, so I am pretty sure it isn't the latex. But maybe the powder even though the gloves claim to be powderless they leave a residue after removal. I will try to get an alternative soap from our employee health people. I work pedi onc so they are pretty strict about us using the hospital approved soap. They gave us some alcohol foam as an alternate for in between washings but that stuff is brutal, makes my hands flakey. Plus try a little alcohol on already tender skin! Yow!
    I am sure our employee health people don't come in until 8AM though, convenient for us night shifters who leave at 7:30 just dying to get into bed!
    thanks again!
  13. by   Mkue
    Originally posted by OzNurse69
    A few things that a drug rep recommended to me once - they seem to work:

    * use cool water, not warm or hot (contrary to what we used to be told, it's the soap not the water temp that kills the bugs!)

    * always wet your hands before applying the soap

    * make sure you rinse every last little bit of soap off them

    * pat hands dry, don't rub

    Having said that, I have to agree with the posters above who have said that if there is a definite demarkation line, it sounds more like the gloves you are wearing, either the latex or the powder. Same as NurseWeasel, I would suggest a trial with different gloves, then different soap etc., but one thing at a time.

    Good luck!!
    I like the idea of using cool water !
  14. by   maggie7
    Philosophy "Time on your hands" works great for me if I remember to put on before bed. I've also kept a "chapstick" just for my hands, which works well.

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