Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do my hands get itchy red bumps?"
I'm a 25 year old female working in the medical field. I've begun to notice small red bumps on the back of my hands that both itch and hurt. I use latex gloves at work but have been for a year now and the bumps only just started. I haven't been using any new soaps or lotions recently, nothing about my routine has changed in some time now. How can I make them go away?
It is possible that you are developing a contact irritation reaction to the latex gloves or some other product that you are using at work. You could investigate this by experimenting a bit with using a different type of glove, for example, to see if the bumps go away. In the meantime, you should keep your skin clean and dry and well moisturized. Another possibility would be that you have eczema, which is an inflammatory reaction of the skin, sometimes provoked by an allergic reaction and other times simply by dryness and chronic irritation. The best approach to treating eczema includes keeping your hands very well moisturized with a thick 'greasy' moisturizer. You should also avoiding washing your hands excessively or with very hot water. After washing your hands, pat them dry (don't rub) and immediately apply moisturizer. Also, any particularly stubborn red itchy patches may respond to a small amount of an over the counter steroid cream. I recommend getting in to see your primary care doctor, as they will be able to examine your skin and help you diagnose what is going on, as well as decide on what course of treatment is best for you.
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