Eczema Gloves: Everything you need to know
If your head is spinning because you or your little one is struggling with eczema, perhaps night time scratching is out of control, or you just want a way to protect your body from the wayward advances of pincer-like nails, then I have taken the hard work out of your search because here I give you an honest eczema gloves review. Why? Because I’d really ‘glove’ to help you.
You may have at this point resorted to a backlog of measures to try to stop the incessant and often unconscious scratch monster, and speaking from my personal experience, woolly gloves secured on with a yard of packing tape is literally just a mild inconvenience when it’s time to succumb to the itch.
The problem when gloving-up is that out of desperation, we can jump in to the first set of gloves we find without realizing that all gloves are not made equal.
WHY ECZEMA GLOVES?
Our hands are quite the double edge sword. Whether brushing our hair or scratching that ‘oh my god, it’s almost healed’ eczema, they are there for the long haul and there’s no getting rid of them!
Because most of our scratching happens unconsciously, unless you have super-human mind control, we are going to tear up our skin like it’s a dance floor and Funky Town just started playing. Essentially, we are fighting a real battle.
Eczema on the hands is extremely common due to the fact that they are exposed to the most amounts of damage, friction, and environmental irritants on a daily basis. For those susceptible, the hands are the first place eczema can show up.
Using gloves to cover the hands and wrists of this delicate skin is an ingenious idea and thankfully the technology going in to their design has come a long way. So, here are some of the reasons eczema gloves can be a great tool for many people suffering from this condition:
When your ointment du jour is applied to the hands, covering them with eczema gloves will not only help the cream sit on the skin for better and long lasting hydration, but it can also help keep it there instead of rubbing off during use.
Protection. This includes protection for your hands as well as the rest of your body because literally no place is safe as long as you can get at ‘em! Cutting the nails is important of course, but adding that extra layer of protection using eczema gloves adds yet another conscious and unconscious barrier.
Eczema itches like gang of mosquitos just made a lunch out of you, stole your car, and dumped it in the river. Basically, any relief is welcome relief and for some people, gloves for eczema can provide a certain level of comfort.
Children and infants are unfortunately unable to understand, and thus control, their scratching habits which often exacerbates childhood eczema. So, for the above reasons, many parents have found respite and even improvement in their children’s eczema from using eczema gloves.
During my research, I was amazed to find the amount of eczema gloves out there were so varied! So, in order to provide the full service, I will list the 4 main types of gloves being sold for eczema today along with their pros and cons, and a link to follow for you to check them out for yourselves.
I will also include some helpful hints at the end if you are going to use gloves for your eczema.
BAMBOO GLOVES FOR ECZEMA
Imagining such a hard and rugged plant against my fragile skin is legitimately unappealing to me, but it seems we are living in the future. Bamboo is now becoming the material of choice not only because of it's sustainability and eco-friendliness, but it makes a really, really comfortable fabric!
With this in mind, here are some of the reasons for and against bamboo gloves for eczema.
Naturally hypoallergenic and anti-microbial (as long as it’s not processed using the viscose method), bamboo gloves give an added protection against unwanted bacteria, thus reducing the likelihood of infection and further irritation.
While most of the sources I found maintain that bamboo is stronger than cotton, some say that bamboo fabric is not as durable. This may be manufacturer specific, but I wanted to mention it here anyway.
COTTON GLOVES FOR ECZEMA
Next on the list are the more well-known cotton gloves for eczema, and they’re probably the first thing that comes to mind to most parents completely drained from the constant battle of keeping their child comfortable.
Cotton gloves for eczema have been the staple since I was a child… and without revealing all, let’s just assume that was a verrrry long time ago!
DERMASILK GLOVES FOR ECZEMA
Dermasilk Gloves use a unique blend of materials targeted at contact dermatitis as well as atopic dermatitis. There are some interesting examples of before and after cases to be found online, but let’s get to the breakdown.
DermaSilk fibres are knitted in an open weave which allows for better air flow than other fabrics including standard silk. This helps regulate temperature for comfort during warmer months or for those who sweat excessively.
The hygroscopic (yes, I had to Google it) function of this fabric helps maintain moisture on the hands. So, alongside it's breathable weaving, this strikes a potentially very comfortable eczema glove.
Because they aren’t a very common product circling the eczema communities, there was very little in the way of reviews to draw on for negative feedback, there for I could only derive the following:
There are other silk gloves for eczema on the market, but I only listed the DermaSilk brand simply as there appears to more suitable science behind the design for eczema. DermaSilk also offer a clothing range in this same fabric to help eczema and other skin issues, just in case you were wondering
MOISTURIZING GLOVES FOR ECZEMA
When you see the name “Moisturizing Gloves”, it may be referring to one of two things;
Any glove like I’ve shown in the rest of this article because if it can cover the hand to prevent moisture loss, then it can technically be called a moisturising glove.
Gloves which come infused with a moisturising agent such as gel or essential oils.
The little rascals I want to talk about here are the gloves that come pre-embedded with a moisturiser. To my amazement, I had no idea these types of gloves even existed, let alone intended for people with hand eczema. So, let’s investigate!
The gel lining of these gloves hold the beneficial ingredients against the skin. So, rather than normal moisturizers absorbing fairly quickly, these will remain on the skin for as long as you wear them.
PROTEX GLOVES FOR ECZEMA
Protex gloves are also another lesser known glove on the market, but because they are targeted at eczema (as well as many other conditions), I wanted to do a bit of digging and see just what they’re all about!
Designed with a blend of materials which make them stretchy and form-fitting, protex gloves seem to fit snug to the shape of the hand helping make everyday tasks easier to manage. Fantastic if you spend a lot of time in the sun or for gardening, house work, or other such duties.
Said to help people with issues of cold hands, I feel this is a downside for certain people with eczema who struggle when they get hot. Of course this is a plus if heat helps your skin, but for those who become itchier, there is a potential for irritation if the fabric doesn’t breathe adequately.
The 50+ UPF rating is good for those who want to avoid the sun, however sunlight in moderation is said to deliver many important benefits to the immune system and skin of an individual. So, for this reason, I feel it is a con for eczema (unless light sensitive). *My opinion*
If you have eczema on your fingertips, then these gloves may be uncomfortable as there are two seams which run along each fingertip. If you can live without fingertips however, then the finger-less gloves would be the remedy OR turn 'em inside out!
If there is an inside seam and as long as the outside is smooth and seam-free, you can to turn them inside-out so there is nothing to rub against the fingers.
While performing wet tasks, protect your gloves and skin from dirt, dust, and chemicals by covering them up with a pair of first aid gloves (the thinner they are, the more movement you have).
Regularly wash your eczema gloves, but be sure to wash with a gentle, dye and fragrance free product.
If wearing eczema gloves when bathing, cover with waterproof vinyl or first aid gloves and secure them closed with a rubber band at the bottom around the wrist or forearm to help keep water out.
If wearing waterproof/first aid gloves directly on the hands, then try to avoid wearing them for any longer than 15 to 20 minutes to avoid irritation.
If buying eczema gloves for children or babies, make sure you get the sizing right first. Also, be careful with any Velcro or rough areas on the outside as these can be abrasive to delicate skin when they try to scratch other areas of their body.
The take home message is that eczema gloves do seem to provide some comfort and relief to many adults and children. So, while they may not be the cure, as long as they are helping some people feel better, then they are alright in my book!