So a brief background on me: I've been a NICU nurse for about a year and a half (it'll be 2 years this August) and I love my job. I've been having skin issues with my hands basically since I've started. I can't use the hospital gel/foam and now the soap has started to irritate my skin. I think I'm allergic to the Triclosan. But I've gotten permission to use my own approved alcohol free sanitizer and tea tree/eucalyptus soap. I scrub in now with a new hospital sanitizer before coming into the unit. I've been to two different dermatologist and both have prescribed topical steroids that have stopped working. I even did a biopsy and it turns out my reaction is from contact dermatitis/eczema. I've really tried to find a solution for this so I don't have to leave "patient contact" nursing but nothing has helped. The steroids have only made the irritation more aggressive and it looks/feels like a 1st degree burn after a few hours into my shift.
With that being said...does anyone have any job suggestions with limited patient contact where my experience could be useful? I'm open to just about anything. Thanks in advance!!
You may actually be allergic to Nitrile or another component of the gloves your hospital uses. Talk to the employee health folks and they may be able to order hypoallergenic gloves that may help. My sister had the same issue for at least a year and thought it was the soap, but it in fact turned out she was reacting to the gloves.
I have faced this on and off especially when I first went to NICU,the blankets suck all the moisture from your hands,I had cracked tips and irritation,tried steroid creams etc.What finally worked was wetting my hands at bedtime and applying Lansinoh breast cream(you might be familiar with this for the moms)
sometimes an extra application during my shift(again wet your hands first).
On the unit they had Remedy cream which served as a quick fix when having a dry weather dry skin day.
Believe me it works give it a try.
Check out the water where you live as well. Here in the DFW area, some of the north areas have gotten the attention of Erin Brokovich due to water quality issues that are impacting people's skin, respiratory systems and other alleged health problems.
My very first unit educator had the same issue as you, her story actually sounded nearly identical to yours. She was devastated to leave patient care. She ended up changing to the unit educator because it still gave her some contact with bedside nursing. Good luck to you.
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