Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"I have a rough spot on my left hand that will not go away?"
I am a 27 year old male who works with his hands except usually I wear gloves. I have a spot on my hand it is like dryness except that the spot will crack open and they are redder than the rest of my skin, I have tried anti-biotic ointments, lotion, hand salve, and anti itch cream. It is starting to worry me since it has been over a year now and it will improve but it does not fully go away, what should I do?
There are many possibilities for what could be causing your symptoms. Eczema, psoriasis, and contact dermatitis are some of your potential diagnoses. It is important to see a dermatologist for any skin problem that does not resolve after trying numerous over the counter remedies. The dermatologist will do a thorough history and full body examination (to make sure you do not have any other similar areas in parts of the body that are hard for you to see yourself) and possibly take a biopsy if he or she thinks it is warranted. Sometimes a prescription medication is needed such as a topical corticosteroid to help heal the lesion. In the meantime it is very important to keep the area as moistened and protected as possible to prevent a secondary infection from having an open wound on your hand since your hands are constantly exposed to bacteria. Keep your hands clean and always wear gloves when working. Apply a good quality moisturizer such as aveeno or eucerin to your hands, concentrating on the dry area, liberally throughout the day, especially after washing them. You can try coating the area with moisturizer before bed and then sleeping with clean gloves or socks over your hand to help the moisturizer absorb into your skin.
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