"I recently purchased a new 2016 Toyota RAV4 and within a week I developed red and very itchy hands. It got much worse on a long trip out west (which made me realize the problem was the steering wheel). I didn't drive my vehicle for nearly 3 days and the condition improved- although I would awake at 3-4 am with itchy palms, especially the web area near the thumb. On the way back I wore my fingerless fishing gloves and the redness became limited primarily to the ends of the fingers (not covered by my gloves). A few days ago I purchased a steering wheel cover and my condition is gradually improving and almost gone. I still have some redness and itching early in the morning, especially the thumb web of my right hand that I now attribute to handling the emergency brake and gear shift nob. Today I bought driving gloves and hope that alkeviates the problem completely."
Driving gloves are a great solution! Big props to you for keeping your eyes open, staying analytical and figuring out the source of your problem. A thought: I wonder if your reaction is to the plastic itself or chemicals used to treat the plastic. The same thing happens to my elbow with our middle console, actually. I try to throw a jacket or bandanna over it... anything to form a barrier. My issues with plastic seem to be polyester based and I can only imagine the wide range of chemicals used to create the interior of a car... it's definitely something for people with sensitive skin to consider.
Itching at night is a terrible problem when it comes to most eczema. Getting a good nights rest is important! This Comfymitt shirt gets me through the rough nights (and it's incredibly soft).
Thank you very much for sharing your story! Best wishes for your recovery. For everybody out there with irritated hands, keep your steering wheel in mind!