I usually wouldn't use Hubpages as a place to promote a specific brand or product but because I struggled with this problem for so long I feel that this is information worth sharing.
Almost immediately after having my baby I developed a terrible skin condition on the tips of my fingers, they were cracked, bleeding, scaly and dry. Never having had skin problems before I assumed that the condition was caused by an allergy to one of the products that I was putting on my baby. I immediately replaced everything in the nursery with hypoallergenic and natural products. This process offered no relief and in fact my hands got worse.
At my next checkup with my physician I reported the problem and she prescribed me with a low-dose cortisol cream and advised me to wear gloves as much as possible. This would be followed later by a stronger cortisol cream, the same advice and a referral to a dermatologist.
By the time I got an appointment with the dermatologist my baby was over 9 months old. I had been rotating prescriptions and wearing gloves for: diaper changes, baths, dishes and all of the usual household tasks that involve water. The dermatologist confirmed that I did indeed have contact dermatitis that clearly was caused by over washing my hands. My hands were the worst they had ever been and all the dermatologist could recommend was a stronger cream to be used in moderation and to continue with the gloves.
Contact Dermatitis is very common amongst new parents and tends to be one of two types of dermatitis that are very similar, Allergic Dermatitis and Irritant Dermatitis.
Both types of Contact Dermatitis are an irritation of the skin caused by contact with a foreign substance. Foreign substances can include anything from poison ivy to water to detergents.
The symptoms of Contact Dermatitis are vague and include:
Itching or tenderness of the affected skin;
Localized swelling of the skin;
Inflammation of the area;
Skin lesions or rash which can look like pimples, scales or thickened skin.
Although difficult to tell apart the primary difference between Allergic and Irritant Dermatitis is that Allergic Dermatitis is more likely to produce a raised rash that itches in a confined spot on the body whereas Irritant Dermatitis tends to produce a more vast and painful rash.
A healthcare professional will prescribe corticosteroids and/or light therapy depending on the severity of the problem. If they believe that your rash is due to an allergy, they may offer an antihistamine.
I recommend: Kiehl's Ultimate Strength Hand Salve
Willing to try anything, I went out on a whim and purchased a bottle of Ultimate Strength Hand Salve from Kiehl's. I had read about it in a magazine that said it was the best for protecting hands in cold climates.
Cold or warm climate; this product works. Within 24 hours of using it my hands were soft again and the dermatitis was easily reduced by half.
The Ultimate Strength Hand Salve does not smell like a piece of cake or jar of jelly beans, it smells somewhat medicinal from the Eucalyptus and other botanicals that it contains. It is a rich balm that initially goes on greasy but is quickly absorbed by the skin. The combination of Shea, Olive Oil, Eucalyptus, Sesame Oil and Avocado Oil creates a magical barrier between your skin and any outside irritants while at the same time drawing moisture in. It is cheaper than any prescription cream that I have tried and does not contain the skin thinning cortisol steroids.
Every new parent should have a bottle of this in their diaper bag. Use it with every hand wash and hopefully you will never have to deal with contact dermatitis.