Dyshidrosis is a form of eczema in which small and itchy blisters develop on the hands and feet.
It's also called:
- dyshidrotic eczema
- vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis
Who Are At Risk?
• This condition affects about 20 percent of people who have had experienced eczema before.
• It is common in warmer regions and also it usually occurs during summer and spring seasons.
• It can affect both genders but it's been proven that women are more prone to this type of eczema than men.
• Apart from that, risk for dyshidrosis is higher among these people:
- who lead stressful lives
- who are exposed to metal salts
- who engage in frequent hand washing or are exposed to wet substances
What Causes It?
Until now, the cause of this condition is not known. However, it has been linked several times with other conditions like atopic dermatitis. There was also an association seen between dyshidrotic eczema and allergic conditions like hay fever, asthma and seasonal allergies.
If you suffer from this form of eczema, you will see small itchy bumps on your hands and feet that will eventually turn into rash and blisters. The fluid-filled blisters are deep and would inflict a painful burning sensation. The larger the blister is, the more painful it is. There would also be cracks and fissures on the toes and fingers.
Diagnosis is done through history and physical examination, biopsy, KOH test, and allergy patch test. KOH test, also known as potassium hydroxide preparation, is a quick and inexpensive way to test skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis.
The following are used as treatment options for dyshidrotic eczema:
• Topical corticosteroid creams and ointments
• Cold compress for reduction of blisters and itching as well as for enhancement of the potency of topical creams
• Antihistamines like Claritin or Benadryl to alleviate itchiness
• Ultraviolet light therapy (used if the corticosteroid ointments and antihistamine medications do not provide relief or reduce the severity of the condition)
• Immune system suppressants such as Protopic and Elidel
• Chelation therapy
• Biofeedback stress therapy
• Zinc oxide spray
The corticosteroid creams and ointments are preferred by many because they can speed up the healing after the blisters have dried up. They also reduce the burning sensation and itchiness among patients. When immune system suppressants are used, risk for skin infections becomes higher.
• Limit hand washing and exposure to water.
• Don't scratch your rashes.
• Apply moisturizing hand cream after washing the hands to keep the skin from drying.
• Don't use perfumed lotions or dishwashing soap as these contain chemicals that can further irritate the skin.
• Avoid exposure to mineral salts such as nickel and chromium.
• Manage your stress effectively.
• Apply dressings on the fluid-filled blisters.
Dyshidrotic Eczema is a serious skin problem that warrants immediate attention. The moment you suspect that you have this condition with the appearance of the signs on your skin, seek medical help immediately.