Dyshidrotic eczema involves the formation of blisters on the soles of the feet or palms of the hands. The blisters are generally itchy and filled with fluid. In most cases, they typically last for around 2-4 weeks and might be linked to stress or seasonal allergies.
What are the possible causes?
The precise cause of dyshidrotic eczema is unknown. It is believed that the condition might be linked to seasonal allergies particularly hay fever. Due to this, the blisters are likely to arise during the spring season.
Most doctors believe that one is at higher risk for developing the skin condition if under significant stress or have allergies.
One is also more likely to end up with dyshidrotic eczema if the feet or hands are frequently in water or moist or the work environment involves exposure to metals such as chromium, cobalt and nickel.
What are the indications of dyshidrotic eczema?
If an individual has dyshidrotic eczema, he/she has formation of blisters on the toes, fingers, feet or hands. The blisters are prevalent on the borders of these areas and might be filled with fluid.
Oftentimes, the blisters become enlarged which can be painful. It is important to note that these blisters are quite itchy and can cause flaking of the skin. The affected areas might become painful or cracked to the touch.
The blisters might persist for up to 3 weeks before drying up. Once they dry, they turn into skin cracks that can be painful. If these areas have been scratched, the skin can become thick or feels spongy.
There are various ways in which dyshidrotic eczema is managed. The seriousness of the outbreak along with other factors are used in determining the suitable treatment.
For a mild outbreak, the doctor might suggest antihistamines to lessen the severity of the symptoms.
A corticosteroid ointment or cream is usually used for mild outbreaks that is applied directly on the skin. For severe outbreaks, a corticosteroid pill or injection might be prescribed by the doctor.
Other medical options that are used include:
- Anti-itch creams
- Immune-suppressing ointments (rare option)
- Drainage for large-sized blisters
- UV light treatment
If there are signs of infection, the doctor will also prescribe antibiotics as management.
The application of a moist, cold compress can lessen the discomfort linked with the itchy skin. The doctor might suggest applying an ointment after the compress. A moisturizer can also alleviate the dryness and lessen some of the itchiness.
Changes in the diet can help if medications are not effective in controlling the flare-ups. Since an allergy to cobalt or nickel can trigger flare-ups, eliminating foods that contain these can help.