Skin Care and Protection

1. Wash your hands in lukewarm water. Rinse and dry your hands thoroughly after washing

The skin damaging potential of a detergent is temperature dependent. Warm, soapy water causes more skin irritation than lukewarm or cold soapy water.

2. Use protective gloves when starting wet-work tasks

 Unprotected wet work is a significant risk factor for the development of skin irritation. Gloves are essential for protecting the skin against water, dirt, detergents,shampoos, and foodstuffs.

3. Protective gloves should be used when necessary but for as short a time as possible

Irritant reactions due to wearing gloves are frequently reported. Prolonged use of gloves leads to impairment of the skin barrier, especially if the skin has previously been exposed to detergents .

4. Protective gloves should be intact and clean and dry inside

Even a small amount of an irritant may  act as a strong irritant when the skin is occluded. Furthermore, allergens trapped inside a glove could induce sensitization or elicit allergic contact dermatitis in a person already sensitized.

5. When protective gloves are used for more than10 min, cotton gloves should be worn underneath

Wearing a cotton glove inside the protective glove has been shown to protect the skin from deterioration caused by using gloves.

6. Do not wear rings at work Eczema often starts under a finger ring.

 Irritants may become trapped under the ring, causing irritation and irritant contact dermatitis .

7. Disinfectants should be used according to the recommendations for the workplace

Use of disinfectants may cause skin irritation followed by irritant contact dermatitis, and was recently reported as a contributory factor for development of hand dermatitis. However, individual factors for each workplace have to be considered.

8. Select a lipid-rich moisturizer free from fragrance and with preservatives having the lowest allergen potential, Apply moisturizers on your hands during the working day or after work.

Moisturizers have been shown to promote regeneration of barrier-damaged skin. Moisturizers that are rich in lipids promote regeneration faster than those that contain less lipid. Fragrance and preservatives are common causes of allergic reactions to cosmetic products .

9. Moisturizers should be applied all over the hands,including the finger webs, fingertips and back of the hand

Application of moisturizers to the hands is often incomplete,since many areas are skipped during application .

10. Take care also when doing housework, use protective gloves for dishwashing and warm gloves when going outside in winter

Development of irritant contact dermatitis is caused by exposure to cumulative irritants, often in low concentrations. Domestic exposure therefore adds to exposure at work. Domestic wet work has been recognised as an important risk factor for the development of hand eczema. During the winter, the skin is more susceptible to irritant exposure.