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Understanding Dyshidrosis: Symptoms, causes, and treatment

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

Dyshidrosis is a kind of dermatitis characterised by itching blisters on the palms and soles of the feet. Blisters typically measure one to two millimetres in diameter and heal in three weeks. However, they frequently recur. Usually, there is no redness. Repeated assaults may cause cracks and thickening of the skin. The most common treatment for Dyshidrosis is to apply lotions or ointments to the afflicted area. In extreme situations, your doctor may prescribe steroid tablets and injections. Read ahead for more information about Dyshidrosis




Causes of Dyshidrosis

The exact reason behind the disease is not entirely known. It is linked to atopic dermatitis (eczema), skin ailment, and allergy disorders such as hay fever. In patients with nasal allergies, eruptions may be seasonal.

  • Allergens, physical or emotional stress, frequent hand washing, and metals can all be triggers. About half of all dyshidrotic eczema occurrences occur in patients with allergic responses when they come into contact with an antigen.

  • Following inhalation of home dust mite allergen, a 2013 study discovered that Dyshidrosis on the hands increased among people sensitive to house dust mites. 

  • Foods linked to Dyshidrosis include tuna, tomato, pineapple, chocolate, coffee, and spices.

  • Sweaty or wet hands or feet may trigger dyshidrotic eczema.

Symptoms of Dyshidrosis

Dyshidrotic eczema may be influenced by genetics. If you have one or more blood relatives who have it, you are more likely to have it. The following characteristics distinguish Dyshidrosis:

  • Irritating palms or soles, followed by the rapid appearance of very itchy tiny blisters on the sides of the fingers, palms, or feet. These blisters are frequently referred to as having a "tapioca pudding" look.

  • The little blisters can appear symmetrically, affecting both sides of the body, and finally vanish within a few weeks when the top layer of skin slips off.

  • Their skin may thicken if you repeatedly scratch your fingers, hands, and feet. Large blisters or blistered regions may develop.

  • These eruptions do not occur anywhere else.

Risk factors for Dyshidrosis

The following are risk factors for Dyshidrosis:

  1. Stress: Dyshidrosis tends to be more prevalent after mental or physical stress.

  2. Sensitive skin: People who get a rash after coming into touch with specific irritants are more prone to get Dyshidrosis.

  3. Dermatitis atopy: Dyshidrotic eczema can occur in certain patients who suffer from atopic dermatitis.

Diagnosis of Dyshidrosis

Diagnosis of Dyshidrosis is generally based on appearance and symptoms. Pustular psoriasis and scabies are two different illnesses that cause comparable symptoms. It's best to consult a dermatologist if you have recurrent rashes and blisters that do not resolve independently. To rule out other issues, allergy tests and blood cultures may be performed.

Preventing Dyshidrosis

Because the origin of Dyshidrosis is unclear, there is no established method to avoid it. You can help prevent the illness by reducing stress and avoiding metal salts like cobalt and nickel. Other ways that can help you are:

  • Good skin care techniques also aid in protecting the skin. 

  • Wash your hands with gentle cleansers and lukewarm water, then thoroughly dry them.

  • Putting on gloves.

  • Avoid foods that trigger a reaction.

How to take care if you have Dyshidrosis?

Many people suffer from dyshidrotic eczema, which may be challenging to manage. Dyshidrotic eczema may appear once and then go, or it may seem and disappear throughout your life. Your dyshidrotic eczema may go away at times. These are known as remission periods. A healthy skin care regimen and therapy seek to keep flare-ups at bay and lengthen remission periods.

  • Find techniques to de-stress. Because stress can promote dyshidrotic eczema, employing practices like meditation can help deliver a dose of quiet for your mind and body.

  • Avoid anything that causes dyshidrotic eczema and follow your healthcare professional's suggestions.

  • You may make your blisters more comfortable by doing the following:

  1. Gently wash the affected areas with light soap.

  2. Apply an antimicrobial cream or ointment to the affected area.

  3. Wrap a bandage around the damaged regions.

  4. At least once a day, change your applications.

  5. Maintain constant moisture in the afflicted region. Try to keep your fingernails short enough not to damage the skin when you scratch.

  6. It's all too easy to pop your blisters. However, you should avoid breaking or peeling your blisters. The skin on your blisters protects your skin's deeper layers from infection.

Treatment of Dyshidrosis

This disease cannot be cured. However, you can control the symptoms. Effective treatments comprise at-home treatments, therapies, and prescription medicines.

  • Avoiding triggers, as well as using barrier cream, is beneficial. Physical barriers like gloves can be of help too. 

  • Steroid cream is commonly used in treatment. For the first week or two, high-strength steroid creams may be necessary. 

  • Antihistamines may be used to relieve itching. Botulinum toxin shots stop your hands and feet from sweating, which can trigger blisters.

  • Steroid tablets, tacrolimus, or psoralen with ultraviolet A (PUVA) may be used. Oral steroids are recommended in acute and severe cases.

  • Dapsone (diamino-diphenyl sulfone), an antibacterial, has been recommended to treat Dyshidrosis in some chronic cases.

  • Apply cold compresses to reduce itching and discomfort. Soak a clean washcloth in cold water for 10 to 15 minutes and place it on your skin. Allow the water to partially evaporate (air dry) before applying moisturiser. This should be done three to four times each day.

  • Phototherapy, using ultraviolet radiation, is an emerging therapy in managing dyshidrotic eczema. 

Keep skin problems at bay

Flares of dyshidrotic eczema usually go away in a few weeks with no problems. If you avoid scratching the afflicted skin, it may not leave any visible traces or scars. Although your dyshidrotic eczema flare may cure entirely, it may reoccur. Working with your dermatologist to develop a specific treatment plan is the best approach to keep this skin problem at bay.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions on Dyshidrosis.


Is Dyshidrosis contagious?

In extreme cases, Dyshidrosis blisters may become more prominent and extend to the back of your fingers, hands, and feet. They are not likely to spread to other sections of your body.

Can dyshidrotic eczema spread?

Dyshidrotic eczema does not spread. You cannot pass it on to another individual.

What tests will be performed to diagnose dyshidrotic eczema?

Your healthcare provider may perform several tests to confirm their diagnosis or rule out disorders that resemble dyshidrotic eczemas, such as contact dermatitis, bullous pemphigoid, and hand, foot, and mouth disease. The following tests may be performed: Allergies, biopsies, and blood tests.

What should I do if I have dyshidrotic eczema?

Consult a dermatologist. You may take steps to lessen the incidence of flare-ups if you have dyshidrotic eczema. A healthy skin care regimen and antihistamines can help you control your problems. Other treatments, such as phototherapy, might be used as needed.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.


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