Alternative NamesDyshidrosis; Pompholyx; Dyshidrotic eczema
What is Dyshidrosis
Dyshidrosis is a skin condition that characterized by small, usually itchy blisters that develop on the hands and feet. The blisters that occur in dyshidrosis generally last around three weeks and cause intense itching. Once the blisters of dyshidrosis dry, cracks and grooves (fissures) form, which can be painful.
Signs and symptoms
Common signs and symptoms of dyshidrosis can be:
- Small, itchy bumps that gradually progress to a rash made up of fluid-filled blisters (vesicles)
- Intense itching
- Cracks or grooves (fissures) on your fingers or toes
- Pain, especially with large blisters
In most cases, the small, fluid-filled blisters (vesicles) occur on the palms and fingers of your hands. They may also occur on the soles and toes of your feet. The blisters usually last about 3 weeks.
Complications caused by this condition can include:
- Pain and itching that limits the use of the hands
- Secondary bacterial infection
It is not clear what causes dyshidrosis. However, it can be linked to a similar skin disorder called atopic dermatitis and allergic conditions such as asthma and hay fever (allergic rhinitis). Eruptions may be seasonal in people with allergies.
This condition cannot be prevented, because the cause is still unknown. However, managing stress and avoiding exposure to metal salts such as chromium and nickel, can be helpful to prevent dyshidrosis.
You should not scratch blisters, because it only makes the condition worse. Anti-itch medicines taken by mouth such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and loratiadine (such as Claritin) stop scratching. If you scratch while asleep, take an anti-itch medicine before bed.
You should apply an ointments or creams on the hands at least two times per day, and after every hand washing. Heavy ointments are best. Petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline), mineral oil or vegetable shortening may be best but can be messy.Creams are better than lotions. Creams such as Eucerin and Lubriderm may be helpful.
Your doctor may prescribe steroid (or corticosteroid) ointments creams, or other creams or ointments such as tacrolimus or pimecrolimus.
If you have severe symptoms, your doctor will prescribe you steroid pills, coaltar preparations or phototherapy (ultravioletlight therapy)
Please, do not scratch the blisters. You should avoid frequent bathing, hand washing, and irritating substances which can make itching worse.