Dyshidrosis

Also known as dyshidrotic eczema or pompholyx, Dyshidrosis is a skin condition where small, fluid-filled blisters called vesicles appear on the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet, or both. The ones I suffered through recently were on the backs of my hands and between my fingers. Once in awhile I'll get just a couple between my fingers, but this time they're all over my hands, except on the palms.

What's happening is that the the affected skin becomes inflamed and as a result, the junctions between the skin cells open and let that clear pus fluid fill in the gaps. Doctors call it spongiosis because the skin becomes like a sponge with all these fluid-filled spaces.

The blisters usually last about three weeks and cause intense itching. As the blisters dry, sometimes painful cracks and grooves form.

You may have this condition if you have:

-Small, itchy bumps that gradually progress to a rash made up of fluid-filled blisters

-Intense itching

-Cracks or grooves on your fingers or toes

-Pain, especially with large blisters

Dyshidrosis on HandDyshidrosis on Hand

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Usually, it is just an itchy inconvenience. In some cases, though, the pain and itching may limit the use of people's hands. It's possible that some form of skin damage like thickening of your skin or a bacterial infection may occur from intense scratching. Try not to scratch too much, because it can prolong the treatment and make it more difficult.

Call your doctor if you have a rash on your hands or feet that doesn't go away on its own, or if you've been diagnosed with dyshidrosis and have signs and symptoms of an infection, including fever, or pain or inflammation at the rash site.

Treatment for this skin condition often includes topical creams, wet compresses and ultraviolet light therapy to improve the appearance of the skin and ease your symptoms. Even with treatment, recurrence is common.

Here's an interesting report on an unusual treatment method:

Resolution of Dyshidrotic Dermatitis of the Hand After Treatment with Continuous Positive Airway Pressure for Obstructive Sleep Apnea.: An article from: Southern Medical Journal

The cause is unknown, but it can be associated with a similar skin disorder called atopic dermatitis and even allergic conditions like asthma and hayfever.


You're at a higher risk for this skin condition if you're:

-Female (oh, lucky me!) because women seem to have a higher incidence of dyshidrosis

-Having seasonal allergies, like hayfever

-Always exposing your skin to water

-Under stress, because it appears to be more common during times of stress

-Have been exposed to metal salts, like chromium, cobalt and nickel (usually from cement or mechanical work)

Dyshidrosis

What you can do to help ease the symptoms of Dyshidrosis:

-Avoid scratching the rash.

-Limit the amount of time your skin is exposed to water.

-Moisturize with a hand cream after washing your hands.

-Eliminate the use of, or wear gloves to protect your hands from irritants like perfumed lotions or dishwashing soap.

-Manage your stress. Try yoga, massage, breathing exercises, soothing music, and take a break.

DyshidrosisDyshidrosis on Foot, Ankle

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What Other Visitors Have Said

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