The hand eczema of 263 women was studied as 4 clinical patterns: palms and fingers, dorsa and fingers, fingers only and the entire hands. The palmar pattern was the commonest. Sensitisers affected the patterns equally but irritants were of less significance in the palmar group than among the rest. Atopics did not appear to have a distinctive pattern. Among the occupational group, irritants were of much greater importance than allergens.