Dyshidrotic eczema is a condition in which small blisters develop on the hands and feet. Blisters are often itchy.
This blistering type of eczema is twice as common in women than men.
You are more likely to develop dyshidrotic eczema when:
The cause is unknown. The condition seems to appear during certain times of the year.
Small fluid-filled blisters called vesicles appear on the fingers, hands, and feet. They are most common along the edges of the fingers, toes, palms, and soles. These blisters can be very itchy. They also cause scaly patches of skin that flake or get red, cracked, and painful.
Scratching leads to skin changes and skin thickening. Large blisters may cause pain.
Your health care provider may be able to diagnose this condition by looking at your skin.
A skin biopsy may be needed to rule out other causes, such as a fungal infection or psoriasis.
If your doctor thinks the condition may be due to an allergic reaction, allergy testing (patch testing) may be done.
Keep the skin moist (called lubricating or moisturizing the skin). Use ointments (such as petroleum jelly), creams, or lotions. Moisturizers:
You can buy medicines that help you stop scratching without first seeing your doctor .
Topical corticosteroids are medicines used to treat eczema.
Your doctor may also prescribe other creams or ointments, such as tacrolimus or pimecrolimus, to use on the skin.
If symptoms are very bad, you may need other treatments, such as:
There is no cure. Dyshidrotic eczema normally goes away without problems, but symptoms may come back. Excess scratching may lead to thick, irritated skin. This makes the problem harder to treat.
Call your health care provider if you have:
Burdick AE, Camach ID. Pompholyx. In: Lebwohl MG, Heymann WR, Berth-Jones J, Coulson I, eds. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2013:chap 190.
Reider N, Fritsch PO. Other eczematous eruptions. In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Schaffer JV, et al, eds. Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 13.
Updated by: Richard J. Moskowitz, MD, Dermatologist in private practice, Mineola, NY. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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