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What are some causes of hand rashes?

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Quick Answer

Hand rashes are caused by an irritant or substance found within the environment such as cleaning fluids acids, industrial chemicals or allergens to personal care products, explains the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Hand rashes on the skin are often termed contact dermatitis and begin to develop when the skin is dry.

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Full Answer

Hand and skin rashes are sometimes caused by hereditary factors, explains the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. People with a history of food allergies, skin conditions such as eczema, hay fever and asthma are more prone to red and itchy skin rashes. Hand rashes can also be caused by exposure to allergens that make the skin sensitive to the substance. People often develop skin allergies to rubber, latex, metals, preservatives and plants such as poison ivy.

Lifestyle habits such as frequent hand washing can cause the skin to dry and develop a rash, notes the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. The dry skin becomes inflamed which causes itching, swelling and redness, especially when the skin's barrier allows environmental agents to infiltrate the skin on the hands.

Treatment options for hand rashes include prescription cream or ointment, antibiotics to combat infections, or injected or oral steroids, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Patients should protect the hands by wearing gloves and applying moisturizer to keep the skin moist.

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