eczema and cooking

Joined Dec 30, 1999
Posting this for a friend. Any thoughts?

"I just graduated culinary school at age 30 and my True Passion is cooking. I have battled with eczema for the past year and want to know if I should take docs advice and find another trade? Any experience with this condition would be appreciated.Can i get relief from school loans if I have to quit?"

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[This message has been edited by cchiu (edited 11-17-2000).]


Joined Apr 4, 2000

There are many treatments for excema you should really see a dermatologist.

You should try and see if your excema isn't cause by a allergy to food or chemical you handle in your workday.

Another cause of excema or skin irritations can be attribute to soap. Many commercial soap, handwash or other, contain some aluminium chloride. This can cause irritation.

Also if you wear latex gloves a lot. Try and find non latex glove and see if that help. I am myself allergic not to the latex itself but to the powder you find inside and outside the glove.

Good luck

Joined Jul 18, 2000
There are some things in life that certainly test you. - Eczema has that tendency. I can tell you so out of experience.

There are some ways to get relief from this.

1) moisturise with a prep like "Cetaphil", you can also use this instead of soap

2) Soaking the affected area in a mixture of approx 15mls of liquid coal tar (liq.carbonis detergens) to 2/2.5 litres of tepid water

3) Using a topical cream prep of either hydrocortisone (mild to medium outbreaks)i.e. hydrocort or dermacort, cortaid OTC or something a little stronger like betamethasone diproprionate (medium to strong) i.e. diprosone or diprosone OV

4) sometimes as a last resort, i will use the tablet cortisone prednisone (very strong)i.e. Panfcort

5) Soaking the affected area in tepid water with salt added works.

I also find that it is quite important to completely dry my hands after washing and to attempt to keep such areas very clean as well.

Going to a dermatologist is advisable as well as getting checked out for allergies and or contact dermatitis.

There are some rather strange treatments for eczema, one being PUVA or PUBA treatment, using ultra violet rays to bring about a deep skin reaction to slow down eczema.

Also it is advisable to get checked for a cornflour allergy, as this is the powder used in latex gloves. I actually use powderless vynyl gloves.
Joined Aug 9, 2000
We all get this I guees. I always have anchored the grill on the line so I am always handling raw meat. So I end up washing my hands a million times a night and I get bad outbreaks. I found this stuff at a place called the body shop they are in most malls. It is called body butter mine has mango in it but they have others nut,hemp,etc. It is a really heavy oily cream almost like butter it works wonders it moisturizes like no other. I would highly recommend it . It totally cleared my breakouts up.
Joined Jul 18, 2000
i was watching a medical tv program the other night and they said something rather interesting.

Apparently a drug used for decreasing wrinkles can be used on the hands to decrease sweatiness.

In a rather bizarre turn of events, this drug is called "Botox", or better known to us chefs as the toxin caused by botulinum clostridium (anaerobic bacterial food poisoning).

I do have a rather interesting theory that when we work, those of us whose hands or body that have a tendency to oversweat maybe prone to eczema. Could also be worth looking into huh?.
Joined Jul 18, 2000
another thing with eczema is to be very careful not to get a staph infection. This can increase the amount of itching (or pruritis) and its intensity. One way to check this out is to get a swab test or it can manifest itself as the eczema travelling up the arm.

[This message has been edited by Nick.Shu (edited 11-21-2000).]

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