Interview Questions & Hand Eczema

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    Excelsior graduate struggling with hand eczema. I'm concerned that hand washing on a full time schedule will be a problem. Should I mention this in a job interview? Should I seek part time employment? (Depending on climate/location this may be a non-issue.)

    In general what interview questions should I ask? What kinds of questions should I be prepared to answer?
    Last edit by tmthymllgn on Nov 28, '11
  2. 12 Comments so far...

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    Can't really help with the interview questions, but I also have eczema. I'm not a nurse yet. I used to be a CNA though. I also have small children at home so I wash my hands a lot. Wipe a nose, wash my hands. Wipe a butt, wash my hands. Wash my hands, make a snack. You get the picture. Anyway my hands get really bad. It would look like I have scales. I called them alligator hands. My daughter is 6 and has the same issue. Gold bond cream works awesomely if applied enough. Keep in mind that hand sanitizer is quicker but will be tougher on your hands than soap and water. Since I'm not with my daughter all day and not able to apply lotion, I put it on in the morning before she leaves. At night I put a&d on her hands and put socks over them to let it soak in overnight. Bag balm will also work if you can find it. It's usually in a green tin. Eczema sucks, but hand washing is important. Btw since I found the gold bond cream, I have no more scales! It's the only thing that works for me.
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    Try Neutrogena Norwegian formula hand cream. I have found it works wonders, and you only need to use a small amount at a time.

    http://www.amazon.com/Neutrogena-Nor.../dp/B000052YP6
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    If you're looking for Bag Balm and can't find it, check at Lee Valley Tools. They have it both in their stores and online.
    Katalina likes this.
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    I struggle with severe eczema fulltime for years even as a nurse. Should not affect employment. I alternate between gel n handwashing when appropriate. I use coco butter on my skin.
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    I know I'm probably speaking to the choir here, but have you been tested for allergies? My granddaughter gets psoriasis from tomatoes, peanuts, potatoes, and almonds. Her elbows and knees especially are affected and she gets big plaques. I used to get bad eczema but the dermatologist made me a concoction of vaseline and salicilate (aspirin). It worked like a dream and I rarely get bouts of eczema - usually only when I'm super stressed. Half of the lotions I use made it worse, the only one I use now is Eucerin lotions. Hope this helps some...
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    Never, ever mention your liabilities during a job interview...unless you are a quadriplegic in a wheelchair where your disability is ultra-obvious. A prospective employer may interpret it as meaning that you WON'T wash your hands, or that you will TRY to get out of some work due to your hands. Your health issues are NO business of the employer - remember HIPAA and all of that!

    As the others have said, use a great barrier cream like Neutrogenia, Eucerin or bag balm. Regular handwashing with liquid soap will definitely be less caustic to your hands than hand sanitizer. I used to keep a tube of the Neutrogenia in my scrubs pocket - and then put on a little dab (dime-size dot) after I washed my hands. It works miracles and prevents alligator skin.
    shamrokks likes this.
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    I'm an RN and I've had eczema my whole life, and still struggle with it. I do have eczema on my hands, but it has been well maintained with prescription topical creams from my dermatologist.

    I would just not mention anything about your eczema at all during your interview. If the interviewer makes a comment, just say you have eczema and sometimes you have flare ups, but use lotions and creams at home. Do your best at home and when you're not working to keep your hands moisturized and your skin intact with prescription or over the counter creams. I found that when I am diligent about this, I don't itch as much in my hands and they look good overall!

    As for your interview, be confident, prepare for questions that you think they will ask (there are a ton of posts about this on all nurses, look it up), and look your best! No need to seek only part time employment solely on the reason for eczema.
    Gold_SJ likes this.
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    Bless your heart!! do i also suffer from this but my skin also cracks, deep painful cracks. i have been a nurse now 13 years. i dont point this out at job interviews. i have a prescription ointment prescribed by a dermatologist and useer it nightly and cover my hands with disposable plastic gloves. this helps alot and durning the day i use neutragina hand cream. i also go to Bed Bath and Beyond and perchase hand sanitizer without alchol, expensive but the other brings me to my knees when my hands are cracked open. the Doctor also has me using super glue when the cracks get really bad. this fills in then the cracks and it really keeps the nerve endings from being exposed an d works great but then i have glue build up on my hands. I wanted to do ER nursingICU but to many germs floating around for the patient and for myself. i now work home health pediatrics. and i do love peds and would have never went this route unless for the hands.

    Good luck and God Bless



    wished i had happy end of the story but i do not. i wanted to work
  11. 0
    I just want to say that I used to have the WORST hand eczema ever!

    It was before I started nursing school, but I was waiting tables at the time, which is also not a great place to display itchy, scaly, drippy, oozing, cracked hands and is a job where you are having to wash your hands often.

    I want to pass along what worked for me in hopes that it might help anyone else who suffers from this painfully itchy mess.

    Firstly, the topical stuff did not cure it. It only managed it (somewhat).

    What worked was a Milk Thistle/Dandelion root tincture (1 dropperful in a little water 3x-4x/day) and Aloe Gold (1-2 oz morning and night). It's very important that the aloe juice is Aloe Gold. It is the only one I've found that juices the whole leaf. The other aloe juices just aren't concentrated enough.

    I have passed this info along to many people who have eczema and it is always reported back that it worked for them, too. The Aloe Gold is expensive. Some people are really skeptical and that's understandable. But it works! Take it every day. Give it a week or two...you'll see a difference.

    I've been eczema free for almost 10 years now! (And I quit using the tincture and the aloe within weeks of the eczema disappearing; it's not like you have to be on it for life. If you get flare ups, you just take it again for a little while. But I haven't even had a flare up since 2003).

    Good luck


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