This post is under review and in the process of being rewritten.
Benefits of Cotton/Bamboo Gloves for Eczema and Topical Steroid Withdrawal
Unfortunately, the hands are the most common part of the body that develops atopic dermatitis and topical steroid withdrawal. This can be incredibly debilitating to do simple, everyday tasks, and especially difficult for those who work specifically with their hands all day.
In most cases, the itching and discomfort are aggravated by contact and use (1).
Maintaining the skin health of your hand during topical steroid withdrawal is often the most difficult task to maintain, especially in a post-pandemic world with the constant use of hand sanitizer. Gloves can help prevent secure healing progress, and minimise the skin drying and reduce contact with irritants.
To prevent skin flares on your hands, gloves made from safe, inert, organic materials like cotton and bamboo, are usually recommended.
How can cotton or bamboo gloves help?
Topical steroid withdrawal wounds on your hands can often reduce the quality of life and social outcomes. Here are a few reasons how cotton or bamboo gloves can help.
1. Reduce itching and discomfort
The prevalence of hand eczema amongst medical workers confirms it as an occupational disease (2). Even if patients are naturally predisposed to skin diseases, hand eczema is often worsened by contact and use. Since we cannot entirely cease using our hands and fingers, the most apparent and rational thought is to use protection.
Cotton and bamboo are soft, breathable and hypoallergenic materials. They do not store heat compared to materials such as polyester and rubber.
Although gloves can prevent their user’s hands from harmful substances, it also protects the user from satisfying their itch – reducing inflammation and making the healing process more linear.
2. Improves sleep
During the day, the adrenal glands produce large amounts of the hormone, Cortisol. Cortisol is a steroidal hormone that prevents inflammatory flare-ups (3). Although its presence during the day can help with managing flare ups, its absence at night is often noticed – this is a common reason why most people with topical steroid withdrawal experience flare ups at night time.
When cortisol levels are lower at night, it is wise to wear cotton or bamboo gloves. As the gloves physically prevent you from unintentionally giving in to your itch while you sleep, it gives you an overall improved sleep time. Over time, gloves may also be used to train children with eczema not to scratch their face or skin while they sleep.
3. They improve the efficacy of medications.
For those who use creams and emollients on their hands for topical steroid withdrawal, it can often be difficult to keep the topical products on your hands. Everyday tasks like eating, reading, using the laptop, and washing the dishes can often interrupt or remove the topical products from your hands.
Using cotton and bamboo gloves over freshly applied treatment or moisturiser will keep it dry and locked in.
Using cotton or bamboo gloves for eczema and topical steroid withdrawal can be incredibly useful for hand eczema. Cotton and bamboo gloves are ultra-soft, breathable, comfortable and easy to manage. Many people with topical steroid withdrawal also suggest to use cotton sheets for bedding and wear cotton clothes.