Interventions for hand eczema

Wietske Andrea Christoffers, Pieter Jan Coenraads, Åke Svensson, Thomas L. Diepgen, Janine L. Dickinson-Blok, Jun Xia, Hywel C. Williams

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


Background Hand eczema is an inflammation of the skin of the hands that tends to run a chronic, relapsing course. This common condition is often associated with itch, social stigma, and impairment in employment. Many different interventions of unknown effectiveness are used to treat hand eczema. Objectives To assess the effects of topical and systemic interventions for hand eczema in adults and children. Search methods We searched the following up to April 2018: Cochrane Skin Group Specialised Register, CENTRAL, MEDLINE, Embase, AMED, LILACS, GREAT, and four trials registries. We checked the reference lists of included studies for further references to relevant trials. Selection criteria We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) that compared interventions for hand eczema, regardless of hand eczema type and other affected sites, versus no treatment, placebo, vehicle, or active treatments. Data collection and analysis We used standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. Primary outcomes were participant-and investigator-rated good/ excellent control of symptoms, and adverse events. Main results We included 60 RCTs, conducted in secondary care (5469 participants with mild to severe chronic hand eczema). Most participants were over 18 years old. The duration of treatment was short, generally up to four months. Only 24 studies included a follow-up period. Clinical heterogeneity in treatments and outcome measures was evident. Few studies performed head-to-head comparisons of different interventions. Risk of bias varied considerably, with only five studies at low risk in all domains. Twenty-two studies were industry-funded.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberCD004055
JournalCochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Apr 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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