ZocdocAnswersCan wetness trigger a rash on a person's hands?

Question

Can wetness trigger a rash on a person's hands?

Can moisture trigger a skin rash? I was wearing gloves and sweating inside them a lot a few days ago when I was doing some work outside, and now I've got a very nasty looking rash all over my hands and between my fingers. Was it the sweat? What should I do about it now?

Answer

Having moist or wet skin on the hands is a risk factor for breaking out in a rash, especially for those who have a history of eczema or rashes of the skin. Eczema is characterized by itching, scaling, cracking, and blistering of the skin. It can be made worse by water, as water or moisture breaks down the natural protective barriers of the skin. It would be very unusual for someone to break out with eczema at your age without having a history of it in the past. If you have never had any eczema rashes before, then another possibility is that you developed an allergic contact reaction to some chemical in the gloves (say the dye) or something that slipped down inside the gloves (poison ivy or some other irritating thing you picked up in the yard). Whether the cause of your rash is eczema or is a contact reaction, the treatment is basically the same. Keep the skin clean and dry. Avoid picking or scratching at the skin as this will delay the healing process. You can apply an over the counter steroid cream as well. If these methods do not improve the rash, then you should see your primary care doctor to discuss other treatment options.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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