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casper1675

Who to see for bad "eczema"?

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casper1675

I've developed a really bad rash on my fingers (on one hand) over the last couple of years. But over the last 4 months its spread and gotten significantly worse.

My Gp has prescribed steroids over the course of the years I've had it but that only makes my skin crack and bleed. I've finally gotten an appointment with a dermatologist but thats not until late Feb 2020.

 

Who can I see in the meantime because its absolutely excruciating. My GP just says its eczema. And can't understand why steroids wont work. And hasn't given any suggestions other then dermatologists which I had to beg for.

Is there a different kind of specialist?

Or can anyone recommend a GP who has a good knowledge of skin conditions in Hobart?

 

I work as a chef so its really effecting my work.

(I take as many precautions as I can at work to stop it getting worse. But there has been no environmental explanation as to why its suddenly worsened so much)

 

Im trialing giving up dairy for a couple of weeks. But I don't think that will have much affect.

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seayork2002

I have bad problems on my fingers and I am not saying this is the same for you but for me it turned out when I do the dishes and forget to wear rubber gloves.

 

Even if I just put my hand in briefly to pick out a lost teaspoon.

 

I did get some cream from the pharmacy (years ago and can't remember what) but helped most was olive oil then doing the dishes as the heat from the water helped it

 

again not sure this will help you it is just my experience

 

My husband had the same problems either with dishes or driving (he cooks more now so I do the dishes more we don't own a car any more so I presume one of those things was the problem)

Edited by seayork2002

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HolierThanCow

It could be allergic contact dermatitis rather than eczema (or atopic dermatitis - it's a subtle difference). Is it your right or left hand? Could it be something you're touching at work that is causing it? If so, you could be constantly re-aggravating it.

 

The steroid cream... is it white or clear and greasy? What is the strength? If it's really bad, has the doctor suggested oral steroids?

 

I get severe contact dermatitis from several things and have always needed oral steroids in a bad flare-up. Topical skin creams, even in high doses, don't work.

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casper1675

Its my right hand(in right handed)

 

I don't think its anything environmental. There have been no changes and I've actually been much more vigilant about wearing gloves but its getting worse.

 

I've never been given a oral steroid. Currently being told to use the highest strength prescription cream (have used both cream and greasy in the past)

 

Ive had large times off work over the last few years and its never been close to clearing up.

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casper1675

And I've used countless lotions from the chemist or natural based ones.

Everything from straight tea tree to cortisone, antifungal and straight moisturizer. Eczma based barrier creams to just trying not to wash my hands at all

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seayork2002

could you be allergic to the gloves (latex?)

 

could you wear cotton gloves after you put the cream on?

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HolierThanCow

If it's your right hand and you're right-handed, could it be something else that you are touching? If you're sure it's not environmental, you are probably correct... it's just it being on your fingers sounds so much like the contact dermatitis I get from some scented soaps, tomato plants (not the fruit!), pine needles and, ironically, tea-tree oil! (Many 'natural' remedies make mine worse).

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EsmeLennox

Please see a dermatologist. They are the skin specialists.

 

It might be ‘just eczema’ but sometimes it can be very stubborn and dermatologists are the best people to advise on treatment. It might also *not* be eczema. Have there been any skin scrapings take and sent to pathology?

 

Good luck.

 

Also...are the gloves you’re wearing latex? Just a thought. My eczema suffering DH cannot tolerate latex gloves for very long.

 

Also, in addition to steroidal treatment, my DH swears by MooGoo Eczema cream.

Edited by EsmeLennox
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#notallcats

When my child had very bad exzema as a baby, we were given an antiboctic cream because it had become infected, Could that be the case with you too? We had to clear the infection up before using cortisone.

 

My mum developed very bad exzema due to a medication she was taking - is that a possibility?

 

I would be looking around for another GP. It's ridiculous it's gone on for so long and you had to beg to see a specialist. I would also ring around Dermatologist to see if anyone can get you in any earlier, or ask to be put on a cancellation list.

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DogsLife

You could try the bleach bath which is very popular at the moment and this is what they give babies, kids etc if they are admitted to hospital with bad eczema. If it is just your hand you would only need a tiny amount dilated. If you look it up you will find the amount needed (ie. half a cup of bleach to a half a bath to give you some indication).

 

Once you have soaked your hand for 15 minutes, apply a good amount of the steroid cream, wet a chux and cover you hand with it and then wrap in cling wrap. Leave for an hour.

 

I recently had a flare up and this is what I had to do (but it wasn't my hand). The theory is that the bleach kills the bacteria, then applying the wet dressing will help the cream absorb.

 

If it is cracked and bleeding it probably means that the cream is not being absorbed and you are just irritating the area.

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PrincessPeach

Dermatologist would be your first stop.

 

But if it is eczema, intense moisturising will help - the thickest creams of whatever your skin will tollerate & then pop a cotton glove over your hand to stop it from being rubbed off. Re-apply 5 times a day at least.

 

My mum ended up needing light box therapy to finally get rid of the bulk of her eczema & im sure over the last 25 years she tried every single cream out there on the market.

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magic_marker

I now use unscented castile soap for handwashing here. Clears the eczema right up.

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Grrrumbles

Dermasilk or similar might be worth a try. We used Dermasilk when my son was a baby but there are a few alternatives now.

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BusbyWilkes

When my child had very bad exzema as a baby, we were given an antiboctic cream because it had become infected, Could that be the case with you too? We had to clear the infection up before using cortisone.

 

My mum developed very bad exzema due to a medication she was taking - is that a possibility?

 

I would be looking around for another GP. It's ridiculous it's gone on for so long and you had to beg to see a specialist. I would also ring around Dermatologist to see if anyone can get you in any earlier, or ask to be put on a cancellation list.

 

Definitely ask around friends/colleagues for a GP recommendation. A good GP may have ideas you can try while waiting to see the specialist, and could request skin scraping tests so the dermatologist has all of that info when you see them.

 

Also ring dermatolgist and let them know it is affecting your work, and could you be put on a cancellation list.

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Lallalla

Someone who says “just eczema” has obviously never had it.

I would definitely be seeing a dermatologist - the only problem being is some are better than others. I saw 1 as a teenager who claimed shaving my legs was aggravating it and I should stop shaving. I saw another a year or two later who worked out the steroids that treat eczema were causing psoriasis - which runs in my family too. To this day it is the only thing that brings out psoriasis in me. GPs don’t recognise it because it is layered over the top of eczema. I think I am an oddity on that one though, the treatment had to be made up by a compounding chemist.

 

While waiting to see the dermatologist I would keep trying other things too. Go see another GP for a start as antibiotics might be needed.

Over the years I have found a number of other things that reduce the eczema if not totally heal it. As a teenager, in between the two dermatologists, my mother took me to see a naturopath (who really really are not all equal, you have to find a good one) who overhalled my diet and helped reduce it massively. When I did finally see the 2nd dermatologist he was not surprised changing my diet had helped - he recommends diet changes with “cases worse than this” (I suspect what it looked like before the diet changes would have qualified). To this day. I have to restrict my white bread/white flour intake to avoid outbreaks.

 

Also oh could find a really really good moisturiser, like dream cream from Lush which I find lives up to the hype and lather it on twice a day as well as the steroids.

 

And only wash your hands with QV wash and possibly Dove hand wash (according to my GP it’s the next best thing after QV). Definitely not palm olive or Aldi hand wash. They destroy hands.

Good luck! I hope you find something that works soon.

Edited by Lallalla

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overlytired

I'd ask for a referral to an allergist, since eczema is usually a symptom of an allergy (when it's not a contact issue).

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Ellie bean

Another vote here for QV wash, I had a similar issue that the dermatologist was able to fix but avoiding all soap has helped a lot, I only use qv gentle wash for hands and in the shower too

If your dr thinks it’s work related you may well have a worker’s compensation claim

Also you need a better GP imo

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Dianalynch

You could have developed a latex allergy from gloves at work, if you wear latex gloves that would be something to talk with a health professional about. I'd go to a different GP, they should have asked you about that as latex allergies are common.

 

In the meantime some things to try:

only wash with things like QV gentle wash, no soap, keep your hand dry as much as possible, cover it in a really thick ointment like dermeeze and wear a cotton glove over it when you're not at work, use a topical cortizone that's a higher % and an ointment rather than a cream

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FuzzyChocolateToes

Is the dermatologist you have an appointment with private or public? If it's private, ring their reception and tell them you can't wait until Feb as you are in pain now. Ask to be notified if they have a cancellation.

 

You could also enquire with a different dermatologist whether they can see you earlier. You do not have to see the one named on the referral. Just Google dermatologists in your area.

 

Re: glove use, latex gloves are not used in my workplace because of potential allergy. We use nitrile. My skin hates the nitrile gloves and I have a mild dermatitis from it. So that's a possibility too.

Edited by FuzzyChocolateToes
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panda eyes

My toddler has severe eczema. His hands tend to be his worst area and are often red, swollen and get infected if we don't keep on top of it.

 

He sees an immunologist because of allergies and they've put us onto using Advantin Fatty Ointment once at night and then the thick QV intensive moisturising cream twice a day. His hands are the best they've been in months.

 

Advantin needs a script but your gp should be happy to prescribe it. And you can get giant tubs of the QV from chemist warehouse for about $20 when it's on special. Definitely worth a try while you wait for your appointment.

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Grrrumbles

http://www.dermasilk.com.au/

 

Here are the gloves. It sounds like you have used every type of cream so this is definitely worth a try.

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........

I have something similar just on 1 finger and only in summer, but i correlated the flare up with the continued use of antibacterial soaps from particular brands like palmolive

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BornToLove

I have similar issues with ‘eczema’ patches popping up on my arms and face. I’m pretty sure I have undiagnosed allergies but I can usually get it to clear by being diligent with keeping the area clean and cared for several times a day.

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amdirel

DS2's eczema was finally brought under control by an allergist/immunologist.

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jovana

My mum had "eczema " on her hands and feet for about 20 years.

She's finally been diagnosed with psoriasis after so many treatments, creams etc failed.

It might be another thing to look into?

 

Dermatologist or allergist might be a good idea especially if treatment prescribed by your GP is obviously not working.

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