gloves to protect hands with heavy eczema?

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  • #309890

    I have quite severe hand eczema (sometimes a bit better, sometimes very bad with cracks, itching, pain and bleeding). I’m using the usual treatments to keep it under control.

    For any work I need to wear gloves to protect the hands (and also protect the work from blood as my hands bleed easily). My dermatologist says I should avoid doing any handwork, but I refuse to let my condition dictate my life.

    Does anybody have a similar issue, and can anybody advice what gloves work best for hand woodworking? I was thinking of giving golf gloves a try as they allow to still have a reasonable tactile feeling. Any suggestions are welcome!

Viewing 13 replies - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #309937


    When I was in a marching band we had cotton gloves with rubber dimples on the palms and lower surfaces of the fingers. I think these would work well as they gave good grip, perhaps they’re the same as golf gloves (I’ve never played) but might be cheaper?

    Best regards


    Hugo Notti


    I have no experience with eczemas, but I have to wear gloves at work often. For fine manual work, cotton gloves are impossible. I think, the only way is thin latex or nitrile gloves, well fitting, so you can feel, what you are doing. After a while, your hands are boiled in their own soup, so you need to use some cream, that is friendly to your skin. there are a lot of manufacturers of nitrile gloves for laboratory use. These gloves are stronger than the usual one-way latex gloves and still let you feel quite well, what you touch. At home, I use them when cleaning or repairing my bicycle, de-rusting new old tools and a lot more. At work, I use them when handling polished surfaces mostly, but also, when stacking dirty pallets, and to protect my fingers when folding cardboard boxes; cardboard boxes often have very sharp edges.

    I am not sure, if this is of any help, because I have no idea, if sweat is good or bad on skin with an eczema. However, these gloves provide two-way protection, you will have a good grip on everything and your tactile sense is not impaired much.




    I have no experience with this issue, but I was just watching some YouTube videos by a Japanese furnniture designer / maker who wears gloves because of “atopic dermatitis” (don’t know what that is, but maybe it’s similar to your issue?). Maybe see which gloves he is wearing, and give them a try, or even send him an email and ask him.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 3 months ago by Edmund.
    Sven-Olof Jansson



    Craig’s recommendation is very sensible. To avoid progress of eczema or contact atopy (skin allergy), synthetic materials should not be in contact with the skin. This pertains particularly to latex, as many within surgery have learned.

    My hands and fingers are dry (poor suduromotor function), so added to my natural clumsiness I drop things because of low friction in my grip. Thin gloves in natural materials with high friction external surface gives me a firmer and grip. They also protect against splinters.

    Attached llink is to a company that provides many different types of protection gloves, including those I use.

    Sven-Olof Jansson
    London, UK; Cambridge, MA

    Brett aka Pheasantww


    I use gloves when I handle rough wood and for several operations where I need good grip. The ones I use have a fabric top and the palms are a rubber material which gives great grip and they are thin and snug enough to give good “feel”. I get mine at Harbor Freight and they are quite inexpensive.

    Located in Honeoye Falls NY USA. The Finger Lakes region of Western NY.

    "If you give me 6 hours to fell a tree, I will take the first 4 to sharpen my axe" Abe Lincoln

    Thomas Angle


    Have you tried any homemade soap that is non-scented? My wife makes some and I know that most people love it. It seems to help with a lot of skin ailments and such. My experience is that it seems so much less harsh on the skin than any store bought soap.

    Smithville, TN

    Hebrews 9:27
    27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:



    Make sure to read about glove safety near machines, if you have them. Basically, gloves and machines don’t work together in many cases.

    Can you expose your finger tips? If so, you could try bicycling gloves. My daughters uses them for woodworking, especially chiseling. If you haven’t seen them, cycling gloves have the fingertips cut off and have heavily padded leather palms.

    Jason Miller


    For what it’s worth, my hand eczema subsided dramatically after working with hand tools for about 3 months. I suspect this is due to the calluses I have been developing on my hands. I only work about 8 hours/week, but my hands are better than they have been in years.



    Thanks for all the input. Synthetics is definitely a no go (the sweat and moist is very very bad for my hands).

    For now for rougher work like planing, I’m using leather gloves that are one size too big with cotton gloves inside. For finer work I found some very nice fitting leather working gloves that are still very tactile (and expensive).

    Hands are still up and down between bad and very bad, but hey I’m working wood, and there are worse things. My thoughts are with all the folks suffering from the hurricane in Texas and the major monsoon floodings in South Asia. Stay strong!



    @zeppos my wife has skin challenges, too, and ended up using the cotton gloves. She found that she needed to have a few pairs and to change to clean ones regularly or she’d start to react to the cotton gloves. She had to use a fragrance free detergent like Tide Free.

    Andrew Gardiner


    Can I make the suggestion that palm-dipped gloves may be the way to go. They are a cotton glove with only the palm face pvc/latex/nitrile coated for grip. Increasingly used in UK industries, in a massive range of grades. We’ve used them very successfully for people with both excema and latex allergy as you don’t sweat in them, as they let the majority of the hand breathe, are stretchy so fit well and don’t abrade the skin and provide little snag risk, but they do provide some protection to the fingers (either face only or complete finger) and palm.


    Greg C


    I can tell you that after many years (half my life!)of being misdiagnosed with eczema, I found a family doctor who identified immediately that what I was likely suffering from was a immune system related condition. Confirmed by a specialist and biopsy I have been taking immune suppressant drugs and anti inflammatory meds for almost 8 years now and it has made a world of difference. I’m not giving you a diagnosis of course but I am saying that many, many doctors were wrong about my condition for many years and who knows about yours? The treatment in my case has been very effective and it was very, very bad before.
    I did at one point slather my hands with vaseline and cover with nitrile gloves to keep them from cracking and bleeding. Glad those days are gone.



    Yes actually I have a combination of psoriasis and contact dermatitis. I know there are biologicals that perhaps could help, tried pretty much everything else. These are very expensive meds though and have some potential side effects I prefer to stay away from, if the condition worsens I may just try them though. I can not manage nitril gloves with Vaseline though, the eczema and itching “explodes” if I do that…

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