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Taking care of each other – and our hands!

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Hand eczema affects up to 6 million people in the UK and can have serious implications on day to day life that many individuals are not aware of.

Now, with the rise of COVID-19, hand washing, and the use of hand sanitisers has become all the more common place and prevalent within our lives. For people with eczema this can cause flare ups which are a source of major discomfort and pain making daily life much more of a challenge in what is already, a challenging time.

At the moment, there is limited evidence on treatments for hand eczema regarding both short- and long-term solutions. However, a glimmer of hope has emerged in Nottingham, through the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust which is researching this issue and attempting to find out what the best treatment for hand eczema is.

The Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust has also recently been praised as an ALPHA Research Champion as it soars ahead with its research. The trial, which compares two treatments used by the NHS: Alitretinoin and PUVA (exposure of hands to UV light after being soaked in a solution called psoralen), was set up by the University of Leeds but compromises many other selected hospitals including Nottingham which has been praised for its progress on the matter.

The hospitals involved will also take part in a sub study to find out if there are any biological markers that can be associated with any particular type of eczema which will then give an indication of which groups of patients best respond to which treatments.

Once again, the NHS are demonstrating adaptable, forthcoming, and relevant research on an issue that may not be an initial point of consideration by others not working in the field. Hopefully, this research will shed light on treatments for a condition that affects millions of people and can help provide an effective solution for those whose daily lives are impacted upon even more so during the pandemic.

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