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Dyshidrotic Eczema

What is Dyshidrotic Eczema?

Dyshidrotic eczema is a type of skin disease under eczema. This is again from an unknown cause that is typically characterized by a pruritic vesicular eruption on the fingers, palms and soles of the feet. This skin disorder usually affects teenagers and adults in an acute manner, but can be recurrent or chronic too. This skin condition has alternate names depending on the areas it has affected. It is called cheiropompholyx once the hands are affected. Pedopompholyx when the feet are affected. Other alternate names are pompholyx, keratolysis exfoliativa or vesicular eczema. The term pompholyx is derived from a Greek word meaning bubble, because it’s generally characterized by deep-seated itching blisters.

In the United State, this skin problem usually affects about 5-20% of patients who have had eczema. This commonly affects those people who live in warm areas and sprouts during spring and summer seasons. The condition is said to be affecting men and women equally. A mean age of 38 years is the age demographic for dyshidrotic eczema. This condition is believed to peak at the age of 20 to 40 years.

This condition is diagnosed by a simple physical examination. A thorough investigation of the patient’s familial history can also provide support for the diagnosis of the disease. Skin biopsy is also done to rule out other possible conditions.

Dyshidrotic Eczema Symptoms

The usual complaints of the affected individuals are the following:

  • Pruritus of the hands and feet with sudden onset of vesicles
  • Burning sensation, usually before the vesicles appear
  • Tiny vesicle erupt along the lateral aspect of the fingers, then on the palms and soles of the feet
  • Palms and soles may become reddish and wet with perspiration
  • These vesicles usually last for three to four weeks

It has been reported that about 80% of dyshidrotic eczema patients’ experiences hands affectations while about 10% of cases are those who experience feet eczema. One should seek medical help when the condition has worsened and have come to a state of severe tenderness, redness, warmth and onset of fever. These are signs of infection.

Dyshidrotic Eczema Causes

This idiopathic skin disorder is believed to be linked with hypothetical suggestions. These are the following etiological link for dyshidrotic eczema:

Sweat gland dysfunction

This has been quite disputed among researchers for vesicles have not been associated with sweat ducts. Sweaty hands are a trigger for this skin dysfunction.


This plays a role in monozygotic twins (identical). It is believed that mutation on the filaggrin gene can lead to loss of filaggrin, causing dyskeratinization.


This has been reported that those with familial atopic diathesis (eczema, asthma, hay fever and allergic sinusitis) are commonly affected. This has been reported that this skin disorder is a first manifestation of an atopic diathesis.

Nickel sensitivity

In some studies, nickel sensitivity was elevated in dyshidrosis patients.

Cobalt sensitivity

Oral ingestion of cobalt would usually manifest systemic allergic dermatitis as to dyshidrotic eczema.

Exposure to sensitizing chemicals

This can lead to dyshidrotic eczema outbreaks. These are from chemical and metals such as chromium, cobalt, carba mix, fragrance mix.

Fungal infection

Existence of an underlying skin infection can precipitate to the development of another form of skin disease.

Other possible triggers

Deodorant soaps, strong detergents, emotional stress, and use of rubber or latex gloves on the skin.

Underlying chronic disorder such as HIV can result to this condition.

Dyshidrotic Eczema Treatment

There is no ultimate cure for this condition; instead the aim of the treatment course is to stabilize the patient’s symptoms. In order to avoid the worsening of the disease here are some helpful tips to follow:

  • Avoid scratching the hands. This can only worsen the state of the skin problem.
  • Take oral antihistamines. This can provide relief from the itchiness and can also facilitate sleep.
  • Ointment or creams. These are best applied two times a day and every after hand washing. Petroleum jelly is best to avoid dryness and to reduce itchiness.
  • Apply corticosteroid cream or ointments. These are helpful in reducing the inflammation. These creams include tacrolimus or pimecrolimus.
  • When the condition has come to a point that it cannot be controlled, steroid pills are provided.
  • Jewelry or rings can house bacteria. Usual cleaning and disinfecting them can avoid you the harm of having this skin condition.
  • After washing hands dry them and apply a moisturizer so to avoid dryness.
  • Cotton gloves are recommended. The use of water-proof gloves is not suitable especially when a person has already developed the skin disorder.

In order to attain good prognosis, one should be compliant with the treatment provided for. The doctor’s order should be followed accordingly. Even though there is no definite cure for this skin disorder, the symptoms can be controlled by following the steps above. We can also avoid complications such as severe pain and secondary bacterial infections if we follow the following guidelines above.

Is Dyshidrotic Eczema Contagious?

Most people would ask, is this contagious? Well, the answer is no. This skin disorder is genetically acquired that does not affect the people who have come to touch or feel another person’s dyshidrotic eczema. Others would conclude that this condition is contagious because of its physical presentation but it’s generally not. Proper health information and education is very essential so that a social stigma is not presented to those affected of dyshidrotic eczema.

Dyshidrotic Eczema Pictures

Photos, Images and Pictures of Dyshidrotic Eczema…





  1. Thank You so much for posting this information regarding Dyshidrotic Eczena. I recently developed an outbreak of this sort on the palm of my right hand and lateral aspects of my fingers. As an RN, I commonly research any symptom that has begun to manifest itself in or on my body. The pictures were especially helpful. Once again, Thank You for the comprehensive information your article has provided here.

  2. I wanted to reach out to Thomas. I am a RN as well and I have the same thing on my right hand only. I was wondering do you work a lot with the sterile wipes provided to patients preoperatively? I believe this is where this came from as well as my hands sweating in gloves. Now at times of stress I have a outbreak this being the second time and the worst yet. Do you have any suggestions?

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