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Dyshidrotic eczema

Dyshidrotic eczema

Everything you need to know about
Dyshidrotic eczema

Blisters form on the soles of your feet and/or the palms of your hands and fingers in dyshidrotic eczema, also known as dyshidrosis or pompholyx.

Blisters might start off as small lumps on fingers or spread out to cover greater portions of the hands and feet. These blisters are typically itchy and may include fluid. Blisters often last 3 to 4 weeks and can be caused by a variety of factors including allergies, heredity, or stress.

What are the symptoms?

A burning, itching feeling without any visual signs may be the first symptom of a dyshidrotic eczema flare.

Small, itchy blisters may form, most likely on your:

  • Palms
  • Fingers’ sides
  • Feet

Blisters can spread to the backs of hands, limbs, and feet in severe cases.

These small blisters might grow together to form larger irritating, red, and elevated areas. Blisters can become painful and exude pus if the skin becomes infected.

Dyshidrotic eczema usually heals on its own in 3 to 4 weeks, but the blisters can cause your skin to become very dry and peel as they recover. Dark areas may appear where blisters have healed in people with darker skin tones.

How is it diagnosed?

If you’ve had red, itchy skin for more than a week, consult your doctor or dermatologist because blisters can be caused by a variety of skin disorders.

Your doctor will most likely examine your skin and inquire if you’ve seen a pattern surrounding your blisters — such as if you’ve begun using different products or have been particularly stressed — as well as if your employment or hobbies require you to come into contact with metals.

Your doctor may conduct an allergy test if they feel your dyshidrotic eczema is caused by an allergy.

If your symptoms are severe or have been present for a long time, you may be offered medication.

Causes

Dyshidrotic eczema’s specific cause is unknown. It was once assumed to be a problem with a person’s sweat ducts, however, this was proven incorrect.

People who suffer from dyshidrotic eczema are likely hypersensitive to things like:

  • Metal, especially nickel or cobalt
  • A component of a personal care product such as soap or moisturiser
  • Prescription drugs, particularly birth control or aspirin
  • Smoking (tobacco)
  • A skin infection like Athlete’s foot
  • Intravenous immunoglobulin infusion (IVIG)

Changes in the weather, as well as stress, can be triggers for dyshidrotic eczema. When it’s hot and humid outside (when UVA rays are strong), some people get flares, whereas others get flares when the temperature drops and is cold.

Who is most likely to get dyshidrotic eczema?

Dyshidrotic eczema can be caused by a multitude of reasons.

If you’re going to develop it, you’ll probably start between the ages of 20 and 40. In dyshidrotic eczema, genetics may also play a role. It’s more likely that you’ll get it if you have one or more blood relatives who have it.

Other elements that may influence its growth include:

  • You already have eczema of a different kind.
  • You’ve worked as a mechanic or metalworker in the past or currently (because of the contact with certain metals like nickel).
  • You’ve previously worked with cement (which can contain both cobalt and nickel).
  • You already have seasonal allergies to cope with.
  • You suffer from asthma.
  • You experience allergic sinusitis sometimes.

Dyshidrotic eczema in children

Eczema, often known as atopic dermatitis, affects more children and infants than adults. Eczema affects 10 to 20% of the population. However, many people with atopic dermatitis or eczema will outgrow it before adulthood.

Dyshidrotic eczema, on the other hand, can also affect youngsters, albeit it is uncommon.

Treatment

Your doctor will recommend therapies based on the severity of your outbreak and other specific health issues. It may sometimes be essential to attempt several treatments before settling on one that works.

Treatments for mild outbreaks

Atopic dermatitis is often treated with pimecrolimus cream, tacrolimus ointment, or Eucrisa. They have, however, been demonstrated to be beneficial in the treatment of dyshidrotic eczema.

Your doctor may suggest the following for minor flare-ups:

an extremely emollient moisturiser to help reduce the dryness
a prescription corticosteroid that aids in blister healing and inflammation reduction anti-itch medicine in pill or cream form

Treatments for more severe outbreaks

More serious breakouts may necessitate treatments such as:

  • If eczema appears to be caused by a fungal infection, antifungal medicines
  • Steroid creams or pills
  • Creams or ointments with immunosuppressants
  • UV light treatment
  • Dupixent
  • Methotrexate
  • Cyclosporine
  • Cellcept
  • If dyshidrotic eczema appears to be triggered by excessive sweating, botulinum toxin injections (botox) may be used.

Home Remedies

While home remedies may not be as effective as medication prescribed by a doctor, they can assist to alleviate symptoms.

Start with cold compresses every 15 minutes to soothe the region. You can also soak the problematic regions for 15 minutes, your doctor may be able to recommend some nice medicated soaks for reducing inflammation.

Look for ways to de-stress. Because stress can aggravate dyshidrotic eczema, employing techniques like meditation can help you relax your mind and body.

If your hands are affected, remove rings and jewellery before washing them to prevent water from lingering on your skin. If a certain personal care product, such as a new bar of soap, appears to be the source of your blisters, discontinue use for a few weeks and observe if the inflammation and itching subside.

Maintain constant moisture in the afflicted area. Try to keep your fingernails short enough that they don’t damage the skin when you scratch. This may assist you in avoiding infection.

Diet changes

Nickel and cobalt are natural elements present in a variety of foods, including:

cobalt:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chickpeas

Nickel:

  • Cereals
  • Tea
  • Dried fruit

If your doctor feels that a nickel or cobalt allergy is causing your dyshidrotic eczema flares, they may recommend a low cobalt/nickel diet.

Your dermatologist is most likely to propose that you follow this particular diet using a point system. The larger the amount of nickel or cobalt in a meal or beverage, the higher the points value. You’ll be told to keep track of your points.

You should not attempt to follow this points-based diet on your own because there are many healthful meals that include these natural ingredients.

Complications of dyshidrotic eczema

The discomfort from itching and the agony from blisters are usually the main complications of dyshidrotic eczema.

During a flare, the pain might become so extreme that you can’t use your hands or even walk. Over-scratching can potentially result in an infection in these places.

Additionally, if the itching or pain is extreme, your sleep may be affected.

How can I prevent it?

There is no single strategy to totally avoid or manage outbreaks of dyshidrotic eczema because the reasons are unclear and the triggers are so personal.

Understanding your unique triggers, strengthening your skin by applying moisturiser daily, keeping your stress in check (where feasible), and being hydrated can all help keep your symptoms from spiralling out of hand.

Dyshidrotic eczema in the long term

Flare-ups of dyshidrotic eczema usually go away in a few weeks without causing any consequences. If you avoid scratching the damaged skin as much as possible, there should be no visible traces or scars.

You may suffer greater discomfort or your outbreak may take longer to heal if you scratch the afflicted region. Scratching and shattering your blisters can potentially lead to bacterial illness.

Although your dyshidrotic eczema flare may cure entirely, it may reoccur. The best method to keep this skin problem from disrupting your daily life is to work with your dermatologist to develop a specific treatment plan, whether short- or long-term.

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