Is there a connection between arthritis and eczema? What helps?

Posted by rjfredericksen @rjfredericksen, Mar 31, 2023

Within the last year, I suddenly developed eczema severely on my fingers and palms of my hands. I have trouble with pain and inflamed finger joints. Is there a connection between an arthritis condition and eczema? Does anyone know why I developed this suddenly? I havent worked since December, the eczema and cuts are so painful, I try to avoid water and can't clean anymore because it makes it worse. I appreciate any advice, ty.

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Autoimmune Diseases Support Group.

@rjfredericksen. Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Do you have a diagnosed arthritis condition? I”m not a medical professional so I can’t say what is going on with you. I can only give you some direction.
What does your primary care doctor say about the eczema and bad cuts? Can you give me some more information?


Hi @rjfredericksen, I'd like to add my welcome along with @becsbuddy. This sounds absolutely dreadful. And it's keeping your from work and living life.

I added your question to the Skin Health support group as well and am tagging fellow members like @cindylb and @gardeningjunkie who are familiar with eczema and may have some tips to share.


Eczema and arthritis are both autoimmune diseases that many of us collect as we age. All my autoimmune issues started after age 50.
I have both eczema and arthritis, but truly don't believe they are connected. I also had leukemia, which I don't believe is directly related other than that it is an autoimmune disease.
Eczema has many types, you described many of the symtoms of Dysidrotic Eczema, DE, which my adult son has. Have you had a formal eczema type diagnosis? Eczema types have different triggers and often different treatments or avoidances.
Get a name for your type of eczema. If the doctor told you that you had cancer wouldn't you ask what type? Go to and look at the collection of photos of Dysidrotic. It has a specfic appearance, very different from the tiny papuale rash I would get with my Allergic Contact Dermatitis, ACD, my symtoms were cause by allergic contacts on my hands. Also with ACD although my hands itched and hurt, I did not get cuts. DE normally affects the hands and feet with dryness, crusty patches and little cuts that can bleed. It is not directly related to contacts. It can be itchy, most often it is painful.
Unfortunetly steroids only treat this form to relieve symtoms and there is no cure. It is important to moisturize with ointments. On the website I mentioned they will have photos of other types of hand eczema, so look at all of them.
I'll learned alot from blogging from others; I've had or have 3 types of eczema, Dysidrotic is not one of them. You also need to give responders more information:age when symtoms began and photos are most helpful in identifying your type of eczema. Once you can identify your type others with the same type can share first hand information with you.

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