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Allergies

Possible allergy to hand soaps

05/05/2008

Question:

Hi. I was in Iraq in 04 and 06. In `06 I developed some type of allergy that I wasn`t aware of. What would happen is that the skin in between my fingers would become very itchy. This would usually happen at night while I was laying down for some reason. I would try not to scratch it, to no avail. It got so bad that I would rub the skin very hard. It went away for a while but then resurfaced again in late `06. This time it looked like hives had braken out in between my fingers or some type of small bumps. My guess is it was due to the rubbing. It got so bad I stopped trying to be a tough soldier and went to the hospital there. They gave me some cream and I used it. I spent most of last year symptom free. Now the same thing is back again. I say I might be allergic to soft soaps or hand soaps because we I washed my hands all the time in Iraq using those soaps before meals and also used hand sanitizer. I have some soft soap in my bathroom and feel it might have contributed to this outbreak. Please help! What could possibly be causing the itching in between my fingers?

Answer:

Detergents could aggravate your problem but it is doubtful that they cause it. I cannot make a diagnosis based on your description. You need to see either an allergist or dermatologist to make the proper diagnosis.

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Response by:

I Leonard Bernstein, MD I Leonard Bernstein, MD
Clinical Professor Emeritus
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati