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weinoo

Hand Conditions From Cooking & Doing Dishes

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I've lately (and at times in the past) developed a type of eczema on my hands; my dermatologist calls it dyshidrotic eczema.

 

It often comes with changes in weather; e.g. when it gets colder and when the humidity goes down.

 

I think I first may have noticed a change in the skin on my hands after using Bar Keeper's Friend (and as I got a little older, so I've stopped doing that). 

 

She (my doc) feels that it is mostly caused by too much exposure to water, dishwashing liquid and soaps (and she really thinks antibacterial soaps and stuff like Purell is bad); because I cook a lot and concomitantly clean up the kitchen often. 

 

So - I've taken to a regimen of every single time I wash my hands using various creams, ointments and lotions afterwards. And I've purchased disposable gloves (as well as dermatologic cotton gloves) which I use whenever I work in the kitchen. This seems to be helping to mitigate the condition. 

 

But - gloved hands are not as dextrous as non-gloved hands. Not while doing knifework, that's for sure - you just don't have the same feeling in your hands and fingers with gloves on as you do sans gloves.

 

First - anyone else have this type of skin situation? Or other skin condition of the hands?

 

Second - anyone find the best gloves to work with? 

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Try this:

 

Before you do anything rub a thin coat of cooking oil on your skin.

 

dcarch

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Try this:

 

Before you do anything rub a thin coat of cooking oil on your skin.

 

dcarch

Yes - but I actually use a product called Eucerin's Aquaphor - with a main ingredient of petrolatum, and also containing mineral oil and lanolin. It's quite vaseline-like. 

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One of my first jobs was in the food business and I developed what I think is the same condition. The Dr. called it contact dermatitis and pretty much said it would stay with me as long as I stayed in the kitchen job, which turned out to be true. Gloves were not really the answer, in fact the hot humid environment in the gloves seemed to aggravate it. Years later I returned to the business, but never got the condition again. I knew quite a few people who also suffered from it and many swore by a product developed for treating milking animal udders with the catchy name "Bag Balm" which is widely available. You might try that.

 

 

HC

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When cold weather hits I switch to playtex handsaver  gloves when washing dishes, and I also keep a box of disposable gloves in the ,kitchen at all times, summer or winter to use for rinsing off chicken parts and such, to avoid having to wash my hands after handling raw meat.  When my fingertips start cracking, and they do all winter long, I rub them with eucerin creme before putting on the playtex gloves.  The dermatologist I go to gave me a prescription that really works  well on the eczema I get in the winter, but it's not something you"d want on your hands while working with food.  As for disposable gloves, one size does not fit all, I buy the medium size and get the ones that don't have talcum or something inside.  Look for ones that say approved for food use.  Some things. like cutting a chicken down into pieces as I was doing yesterday. So I put on the gloves, rinsed the chicken well and dried it off, threw out the disposable gloves,cut the two chickens into pieces, washed my hands. put on another pair of disposable gloves, put the chicken parts into freezer bags, cleaned up the work area took off the gloves, washed the cutting board and knife.  Despite everything I do, my fingertips will still split, and slicing lemons will hurt.

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One of my first jobs was in the food business and I developed what I think is the same condition. The Dr. called it contact dermatitis and pretty much said it would stay with me as long as I stayed in the kitchen job, which turned out to be true. Gloves were not really the answer, in fact the hot humid environment in the gloves seemed to aggravate it. Years later I returned to the business, but never got the condition again. I knew quite a few people who also suffered from it and many swore by a product developed for treating milking animal udders with the catchy name "Bag Balm" which is widely available. You might try that.

 

 

HC

I've bought the Bag Balm! My udders are in perfect condition  :wacko:  :laugh:  :laugh: .

 

I do use dermatologic cotton gloves under the non-latex gloves.

 

HeidiH just told me about a product called Kerodex. Anyone have experience with it?

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Despite everything I do, my fingertips will still split, and slicing lemons will hurt.

I don't have the other dermatological issues, but this happens to me during the winter and it can be very painful. People think I'm crazy when I say this, but I think texting plays a role in this. If my fingers are already dry and brittle, and any pressure on them is going to have an effect. I'm sure the problem must have existed before texting was ever invented (although for me it didn't), but I still think there's a connection. (Not that I'm going to stop texting, of course.)

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This is going to sound crazy, but do you eat kimchi or sauerkraut on a regular basis?

https://mrheisenbug.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/l-plantarum-cured-my-eczema/

It has to be raw. There are also supplements. The link includes links to studies.

I Had this problem for many years. It was very painful. Nothing provided relief. One year, it just went away all by itself. It wasn't until I read this article and thought back that it went away at the same time I became interested in fermenting vegetables. And I had not eaten them before then. I still eat fermented vegetables every day (right now, a tablespoon of beets and their green) and during the winter try to get a full serving at least once a week. You can't cook it though without killing the benefit. Also, other fermented products such as yogurt are different and don't count for this purpose.

It's good for you for other reasons too, so no harm in trying! I know how painful it was so I'm hoping it helps someone here.

If interested, also check out

https://mrheisenbug.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/anthropology-science-is-l-plantarum-a-keystone-bacteria-for-human-health/

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My DH has this dry cracking hands problem worse in the winter.  Might add that he NEVER texts at all.  He uses heavy-duty Rubbermaid gloves when he has to get his hands wet in the kitchen.  I'm going to look into some of the products mentioned above for him.  I've seen Bag Balm in the store but never bought it.

I'm pretty old also but have never had this problem although I have dry skin and ironically, he has oily skin. 

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My mother never did dishes without rubber gloves on because of the same red cracking skin/'eczema' problem she had from the 1950s on till she passed away in the late '80s. This is not a new phenomena and I don't think it is associated with the newer antimicrobial products on the market today as they didn't exist back then - though perhaps they may aggravate an existing issue. She often also (particularly in winter) wore white cotton gloves to bed each night over Noxema'd fingers. No idea if the Noxema was magic but that was the only cream she ever used (and probably also one of the few brands on the market at the time).

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My mother never did dishes without rubber gloves on because of the same red cracking skin/'eczema' problem she had from the 1950s on till she passed away in the late '80s. This is not a new phenomena and I don't think it is associated with the newer antimicrobial products on the market today as they didn't exist back then - though perhaps they may aggravate an existing issue. She often also (particularly in winter) wore white cotton gloves to bed each night over Noxema'd fingers. No idea if the Noxema was magic but that was the only cream she ever used (and probably also one of the few brands on the market at the time).

 

The fact that her problem persisted indicates that the Noxema didn't help (much).

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I would second (third? fourth?) the recommendation of Bag Balm. It is really helpful for cracked skin. The best product I have used for that problem though was a cream made of 100% sheep lanolin. When I lived in Vermont it was available in some stores (usually 'natural' food stores). I've never seen it in stores elsewhere but it is easily available on the internet. 

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The problem is that some people have a weaker skin barrier and weather change or challenge by solvents...soaps etc causes the skin to become inflamed ...which further weakens the barrier and the situation spirals downward.

 

A tendency to eczema adds in that hyper-irritable tendency and adds itchy digits and palms and little blisters.

 

When the problem is mainly back of the hands irritation is the big culprit (not eczema) and moisturizing with a ceramide containing lotion  eg CeraVe is important because it speeds repair.  Bag balm and greases are helpful protectants, but not as helpful when used alone.  Both have their place.

 

Mid strength Rx steroid creams when used judiciously are a big help.

 

Getting hands tuned up before fall/winter is important.  If you only start after there's a problem you end up playing catch-up till spring.

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In April I went to US Border and Customs Control to apply for Global Entry.  Part of Global Entry's security system is the reading of your electronic fingerprints; they are scanned at airports' international arrivals when you return to the US.  

 

The Agent could not get a good 'read' of my fingerprints, parts of them were blank.  He told me about 40% of female applicants in their 50s and 60s have rubbed off some of their fingerprints over the years due to cleaning and scrubbing.  He said he rarely runs into it with men of the same age.  Ha!

 

He got the best 'read' he could but said they might not be good enough for the automated Global Entry scanner.  He suggested that before placing my hands on the scanner, that I rub them against my forehead to add some oil to them.  I did this last month returning from Spain and the scanner was able to make a match.  

 

This doesn't help the OP find a solution to her problem but I found it to be an interesting fact.  

 

In the past, when we lived in dry climates, I too used bag balm for dry skin. 


Edited by gulfporter (log)
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This doesn't help the OP find a solution to her problem but I found it to be an interesting fact.  

I think the OP isn't a "her," be the OP sure does a lot of dishes.

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Interessting, gfweb.

 

My derm just presribed a fairly new product for me to use on my hands. She has seen great results in patients who've used it.

 

It's called EpiCeram, and it contains just what you say...

 

Only EpiCeram® contains the skin’s natural level of 3 essential lipids, such as ceramides, cholesterol and free fatty acids, which are reduced in patients with eczema or atopic dermatitis. EpiCeram® is steroid-free, fragrance-free, noncomedogenic, paraben-free, and propylene glycol-free.

You know what else she likes?

 

Mother Dirt! Which is kinda like the poster who mentioned raw, fermented products above!

 

Our mission is to develop products that restore and nurture the skin biome. To do this, we had to develop strict criteria and processes for ingredient selection, formulation, packaging, and manufacturing.


Edited by weinoo (log)
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I have a form of psoriasis, and have scaly lesions on my hands.  I wear good, thick elbow length rubber gloves when washing dishes so I don't get the very hot water all over them, or the detergent.  I don't bother with gloves while I'm cooking - but if I get anything on my hands, I'll just wipe them dry on a towel and keep going, unless I'm worried about x-contamination.  But i try to organize things so I deal with raw meats separately, so I only have to wash my hands once.

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Interessting, gfweb.

 

My derm just presribed a fairly new product for me to use on my hands. She has seen great results in patients who've used it.

 

It's called EpiCeram, and it contains just what you say...

 

You know what else she likes?

 

Mother Dirt! Which is kinda like the poster who mentioned raw, fermented products above!

 

 

Epiceram is great stuff but pricey.

 

The microbiome of the hands is highly variable and depends on what you last grabbed.  There is no one microbiome to restore on the hands.  Its a desert, dry and without much for bugs to eat.  Not to say its sterile, but it doesn't have much of a stable flora compared to oily or moist areas.  Most of the microbiome products are ahead of the science anyway.

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Epiceram is great stuff but pricey.

I was pleasantly surprised - my copay was $0!

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I work with the food department in a hospital so I have the double whammy of lots of handwashing in the kitchen and lots of purell on the floors.  As soon as I can I wash the purell off, as it creates a thick coating on my hands from multiple applications.

 

The girls I work with swear by cocoa butter mixed with vitamin E.  I found the big tub of this in the shampoo isle of my local drug store.  It was fairly inexpensive too!  It takes a minute to absorb but it sure has done the trick so far!  I am hoping this winter will not be as bad as others with frequent applications of this on my breaks.

 

When I was in the long term care facility they had a big tub of coconut oil on the kitchen table for anyone to use and it was popular, but I was leary of the communal use so I never tried it back then.

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I get this also, but I notice it most when I peel/prepare certain vegetables like potatoes, onions, etc. Must be something in the starch. I do have some other sensitivities to ingredients in various treatments like Vaseline, Bag Balm, etc. I use surgical gloves if I will be doing a lot (like holiday cooking), but I have discovered a hand cream that really helps. And very affordable. I can even buy it at the supermarket.

 

Aveeno Eczema Therapy Hand Cream:

 

http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod10711261&skuId=2277204&CPMID=CSBING&CAWELAID=330000200000178102

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My skin gets dry and I get some cracking and splitting around my cuticles in the winter, especially. I came up with a moisturizer that's two parts coconut oil to one part Vitamin E oil, whipped up in my Kitchenaid and kept in various plastic containers in the kitchen and different bathrooms. I slather it on my hands several times during the course of a day, including after every handwashing, and it helps remarkably.

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Second - anyone find the best gloves to work with? 

 

 

I have to wash my hands over and over again at work and I do find that certain antibacterial cleansers and alcohol-based rub-ons are especially hard on my skin.  At home, in the kitchen, I have taken to wearing disposable gloves for many tasks in order to minimize the hand-washing.  I think the best ones are made of nitrile; these are the non-latex gloves most American hospitals use now.  The nitrile is not as stretchy as latex but it is tougher and, if I wear a size that fits snugly, they don't interfere much with touch/dexterity.  (You do adjust to the difference.  Health care workers used to complain about wearing gloves but I think these days we just take it for granted, like wearing seat belts.)  The flat vinyl gloves that I often see on food service workers go on and off easily but are too loose for me, for most purposes.  For dishwashing, my current favorites are these Mr. Clean "bliss" gloves.  And I am a huge fan of CeraVe cream; just got a new tub for the season.

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On 11/9/2015 at 10:00 AM, Fernwood said:

 For dishwashing, my current favorites are these Mr. Clean "bliss" gloves.  

 

I got a half-dozen pair of these - I love them!

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2 hours ago, weinoo said:

 

I got a half-dozen pair of these - I love them!

You're just a sucker for the cloud soft lining, aren't you? 

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