Dyshidrotic Eczema is a form of eczema that commonly appears around the fingers, palms and soles. It shows up in the form of small, but very itchy, blisters. Occasionally, larger blisters may form, and can cause some pain and discomfort. Flaky or cracked skin is also a sign of dyshidrotic eczema. The blisters can last for several weeks before they dry out, sometimes resulting in painful skin cracks.
Identifying dyshidrotic eczema usually requires some close examination. It’s symptoms and signs are nearly identical to those of other skin conditions. Although not a necessity, a biopsy may be required to confirm the diagnosis. The test will be used to rule out other skin conditions, such us a fungal infection or psoriasis.
The condition can be caused by certain factors, including those that already have atopic dermatitis, which is the more common form of eczema. Allergies can be the root cause for both conditions, usually appearing seasonally. Having sensitive skin or being under significant stress can contribute as well. Dyshidrotic eczema can also be caused by regular exposure to cement or certain metals, such as nickel, chromium or cobalt.
Treating dyshidrotic eczema requires keeping the skin on your hands and feet well moisturized, with ointments, creams or lotions. Whatever you use, make sure that it is natural and does not have any alcohol or dyes in it. For a small outbreak of this condition, you may only need some over the counter allergy medication. Larger outbreaks can be treated with special ointments and creams. For significant outbreaks you may need treatments with UV light or for the large blisters to be drained of fluid. Scratching the blisters can lead to cracked skin, which may expose you to infection. Should this happen, the infection can be treated with antibiotics.
Like atopic dermatitis, there is no particular cure for dyshidrotic eczema. The best thing to do is to try and prevent the condition, especially during seasons that it may become active. Moisturizing often will keep your skin from getting uncomfortably dry, allowing the condition to worsen and spread. If you do develop blisters and itchy skin, resist the urge to scratch in order to prevent any potential infections.