Dry, Red, Itchy, Weeping Skin on Hands
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: January 21, 2005

I have this rash (I guess you could call it that). My hands are red and swollen in some places. They itch so bad it wakes me up in the middle of the night. They are covered in blisters that come and go which itch when they ooze. The skin is also very dry and cracked. All types of water make them feel like they are on fire. The doctor told me to use cortisone but that doesn’t work. Lanacane stops the itching for a couple of hours then they are drier then they were, and they crack and bleed. They are red and swollen and feel like they have a fever. Please help me.

Prescription drugs are unlikely to solve this problem. Steroids, taken internally or externally, worsen skin health in the long term. Assuming that you avoid contact with chemicals in detergents etc., skin problems are usually related to the diet (food allergies or intolerances), to digestive deficiencies (e.g. bowel inflammation, lack of enzymes, insufficient good gut bacteria, excess "bad" gut bacteria, insufficient bile production or bile flow), to drug reactions or to the emotions. It is important to find the underlying cause in your case. I recommend that you visit a qualified medical or clinical herbalist or naturopath to help you to determine the underlying cause and to define a diet and herbs to help. Before making an appointment, ask the therapist whether he or she has had good results with skin infections such as yours.

The recommended diet for skin conditions is: elimination of all dairy products, eggs, (being the two most common food intolerances) fried foods, foods containing sugar, alcohol, all meat from pigs, fatty meat, soft drinks (soda pop) and any food using artificial flavouring, colouring and chemical preservatives; increase consumption of fresh seeds (sunflower, sesame, freshly ground flax), fresh fruit, raw vegetables. This diet helps to improve digestion and bowel elimination, to decrease foods that often cause flare-ups and to increase essential fatty acids that improve skin health. Herbs that are most often used with this type of skin condition are: gotu kola (Centella asiatica) for red, inflamed skin; yellow dock (Rumex crispus) for oozing skin conditions; red clover tea to cleanse the lymphatic system; low doses of burdock (Arctium lappa) seed or root as a blood purifier for dry, itchy skin (normal to high doses can exacerbate the condition due to increased elimination through the skin check the product label for dosage). Evening primrose oil, (4 capsules, three times daily) often helps to provide the essential fatty acids beneficial to skin conditions. Please see our web site at www.richters.com for herbs to relive itching. Choose "Q&A" from the main menu, then enter "itch" for the search. Enter the word "skin" for more information on skin conditions.

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