Itchy red bumps all over my hands. What's causing them?

(34 Posts)
faintlyoptimistic Sat 02-Apr-16 13:17:56

I have had these problems with the skin on my hands for years. Doctors have not been particularly helpful - are probably 'water blisters' and could be caused by anything. I occasionally get steroid cream when they're really bad.

They are itchy and sore all the time. When they're at their worst people will often ask how I burned my hands. sad

I'm determined to find a cause! I kept a food diary but couldn't see any links.

Does anyone have any experience of this? What triggers your reaction?

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AfroPuffs Sat 02-Apr-16 13:31:36

I get these and no idea re the trigger. I use calamine lotion or medicated talk to dry them up. Itchy as hell so you have my sympathies....sad

AfroPuffs Sat 02-Apr-16 13:32:01

Medicated talc* (sigh)

MyBootsAreMuddy Sat 02-Apr-16 13:39:31

Our nanny gets little bumps like that. Hers tend to be more at the Base of her fingers and she also gets them on her wrists and insides of elbows.
Hers are mainly triggered by stress, but some washing detergents and touching certain plants can trigger a small reaction as well as getting to hot. But it's definitely made worse when she is stressed.

imsorryiasked Sat 02-Apr-16 13:58:12

I get those if I touch real Christmas trees.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 02-Apr-16 14:00:03

Is your skin dry? DP sometimes gets that sort of thing, and has to slap on some of the body shop hemp moisturiser for a few days.

IrritableBitchSyndrome Sat 02-Apr-16 14:03:27

I get these. It's a type of eczma, mine is caused by eating foods rich in nickel, as I have an allergy to nickel.


faintlyoptimistic Sat 02-Apr-16 14:06:41

Oh interesting MyBoots.

I had a really long calm period from about Christmas to a few weeks ago. That would correlate exactly with when work stress eased off and when my anxiety kicked in. Bugger. Not much I can do about that!

Will pick up some calamine lotion though. Thanks Afro.

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faintlyoptimistic Sat 02-Apr-16 14:19:41


Skin is quite dry but I use lots of Aveeno to keep it hydrated.

A quick Google suggests I eat nothing but nickel rich food... I react to earrings with nickel in - I never used to but have no idea if that development coincided with my skin playing up. How did you work out you were allergic to nickel in your food Irritable?

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bruffin Sat 02-Apr-16 14:22:00

Are they blister like
If so look up dishydrotic eczema

WhereYouLeftIt Sat 02-Apr-16 14:51:58

Do they always stay bumps, or do they flatten down and spread?

faintlyoptimistic Sat 02-Apr-16 15:31:13

They only flatten when they are starting to disappear. Sounds very much like dishydrotic eczema. Annoying as I was hoping diet might be the answer.

Thanks very much for all the helpful replies. Really appreciated!

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IrritableBitchSyndrome Sun 03-Apr-16 07:19:55

FaintlyOptimistic - I have a nickel contact allergy so can't wear stainless steel or nickel alloys. I was googling dihydrotic eczema as I had a period of bad flare up of symptoms and came across a post by someone linking it to nickel allergy. I radically changed my diet and sure enough, no symptoms for ages. I prefer a vegetarian diet though, and now I've switched back my hands are bumpy and sore again with painful itchy blisters. :/

IrritableBitchSyndrome Sun 03-Apr-16 07:21:12

Aveeno is oat based by the way so could well have traces of nickel!

GlassCircles Sun 03-Apr-16 09:02:29

Looks a bit like a polymorphic light eruption rash too (sunlight allergy) - just throwing that in in case it makes any sense. It's a bit early in the year but i guess the sun has been out a bit?? Or have you had other exposure to UV light anywhere?

Thomasthetank456 Sun 03-Apr-16 09:39:16

I get this too. Like pp said it's mainly round the bottom of my fingers. Have had it on the inside of my elbows too but not recently. Mine can come up like clear filled tiny blisters then start itching. Stress sounds a likely cause for me as have just gone back to work and hands have come up again confused I've also wondered if it could be contacted to liver levels in the blood

bruffin Sun 03-Apr-16 10:11:55

I get both dyshidrotic eczema and polymorphic light eruption .
The eczema is as i said above tiny very itchy blisters mainly on my fingers and also on feet more on the soles and palms. I do think stress and hormones are the main cause for me as especially on my hands they came up same time each month. Heat also seems to make it worse.

Polymorphic light eruption i get on the first exposure to sun in the year. I tend to get that on my arms and decolletage. Again itchy but the spots tend to merge together in big patches of red. Ive had this time of year and on holiday abroad.

faintlyoptimistic Mon 04-Apr-16 09:59:04

Lots to think about.

I had calamine lotion in the cupboard from a bout of chicken pox my girls had last year. It seemed to really help. The sun has been out though I tend to stay well covered up being incredibly pasty! It does look similar in that they cluster together and get really red and angry looking. That's when they start looking like burns.

Anyway, might eliminate nickel as much as possible and go back to keeping a diary but with nickel sunlight in mind too.

Thanks so much everyone.

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differentnameforthis Mon 04-Apr-16 10:36:25

Do you wear latex gloves on a regular basis, op?

Because that is how the start of my allergy to latex started.

faintlyoptimistic Mon 04-Apr-16 11:13:34

No, no latex gloves!

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UnderTheGreenwoodTree Mon 04-Apr-16 11:29:22

I was coming on to say dyshidrotic eczema too. I get it on my fingers, and only mildly, but it's incredibly itchy and irritating. Mine flares up through stress, and in the heat.

Sophiedoc Fri 10-Jun-16 14:26:31

Hello there,

I came across your thread while researching dyshidrotic eczema in infants for a Channel 4 programme I’m working on called ‘Superfoods’. I’m currently chatting to someone who is researching the use of dandelions as a potential treatment for this particular type of eczema and was wondering if this is something you have come across when treating the condition? Or have you come across any other alternative therapies that have worked?

MiniMum97 Sat 11-Jun-16 14:42:48

I have dishidrotic eczema. It is usually found in the palms of your hands and often then travels up the fingers. You can also get it on the soles of your feet. As yours seems to be the back of your hands this would suggest it is something else. Also dishidrotic eczema is fairly common and so I would expect easy got a dr to diagnose.
My eczema was very bad but I managed to get it to be almost completely gone by changing my hand soap. I was using a gentle one already but went chemical free and it cleared up very quickly.
Maybe something worth trying as it defintely looks like a reaction to something. I currently use the bio-D hand wash, and an olive oil soap bar that I bought in Waitrose. The latter is lovely actually. Very non-drying. I've used other natural soap bars too and all seem better than any with chemicals in.

MiniMum97 Sat 11-Jun-16 14:43:26


faintlyoptimistic Sat 11-Jun-16 14:54:17

Not tried dandelions but will definitely have a look into that.

My hands have not been too bad since I posted actually. I started using a natural soap as well so that may have helped! Someone upthread suggested calamine lotion and I found that to be really helpful when the bumps have appeared.

OP’s posts: |

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