What is Dyshidrosis?

Dyshidrosis, sometimes known as pompholyx or dyshidrotic eczema, is a skin condition that creates small fluid-filled blisters, usually on the patient’s fingers and palms. These blisters typically last for two to four weeks. A common affliction that can affect anyone of any age, most doctors feel that people experiencing seasonal allergies like hay fever or high emotional or physical stress are more likely to encounter dyshidrosis. Others believe the condition is a kind of allergic reaction.

The exact cause of dyshidrosis is not known. However, in addition to allergies and stress, it has been linked to a skin disorder called atopic dermatitis. Some patients have seen the condition occur more frequently when their allergies are more prominent, usually during the springtime. It also appears that a person is more apt to develop dyshidrosis when their hands and feet are constantly in the water or otherwise moist. Those whose work exposes them to metal salts like nickel, cobalt, and chromium also see the condition more often.

What are the Symptoms of Dyshidrosis?

Symptoms of dyshidrosis typically appear on the palms and fingers. However, they can also show up on the soles of the feet.

Symptoms include

  • Blisters
  • Peeling
  • Dryness
  • Flakiness
  • Cracks in the skin
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Itching

Dyshidrosis Causes

The precise cause of dyshidrosis is still unknown. It is sometimes linked to other skin disorders such as atopic dermatitis and skin allergies.

However, the condition is likely to occur if there is an existence of the following risk factors:

  • Stress
  • Have Atopic Dermatitis
  • Allergies
  • Sensitive Skin
  • Exposure to Metals
  • Cement
  • Frequent Exposure of the Hands to Water

How is a Dyshidrosis Treated?

Dyshidrosis can be treated through several methods. Numerous factors will determine which is used, including symptom severity. Some patients may need to go through a few different treatments before finding one that works.

Treatment includes

Corticosteroid ointments and creams can be used for mild outbreaks, while corticosteroid pills or injections help treat more severe occurrences. When the skin becomes infected, antibiotics will be needed to clear up the infection. Antihistamines may be prescribed to alleviate symptoms. Other medical treatments include draining large blisters, UV light, and immune-suppressing ointments. At home, cold compresses, moisturizers, and diet changes may be beneficial.

Dyshidrosis Prevention

Since the cause of dyshidrosis is still unknown, no proven prevention techniques exist. However, a person can manage the risk factors.

  • Proper stress management can help prevent the skin problem.
  • Avoiding exposure to metal salts listed in the risk factors can also contribute to preventing the disorder.
  • People working in cement manufacturing industries and construction sites should wear gloves to avoid frequent exposure to cement.
  • Individuals with dry hands should moisturize regularly with natural oils such as jojoba and olive oils.
  • Use mild cleansers to wash your hands while avoiding detergents and soaps which contain harsh chemicals that can trigger allergic reactions. Harsh detergents are waterless and include alcohol and solvent ingredients that can worsen the situation.
  • Cleaning your work wear eliminates any irritants that may come in contact with your hands.
Last Reviewed:
September 20, 2016
Last Updated:
March 30, 2018