Dyshidrotic eczema is a condition in which small, itchy blisters develop on the hands and feet. It is also known as dyshidrotic eczema or vesicular eczema. Dyshidrotic eczema may be associated with atopy and familial atopy. Of patients with dyshidrosis, 50% have atopic dermatitis. It is common, slightly more women get it than men, and has been one of the earliest known skin problems.Dyshidrotic eczema affects individuals aged 4-76 years; mean age is 38 years.
The blisters that occur in dyshidrosis last up to three or four weeks, and cause intense itching. Once the blisters dry, cracks and grooves (fissures) form, which can be painful. They are most common along the edges of the fingers, toes, palms and soles. These blisters cause intense itching.
Scratching leads to skin changes and skin thickening. There may be cracks on the fingers or toes. Large blisters may cause pain. Emotional stress and environmental factors (eg, seasonal changes, hot or cold temperatures, humidity) reportedly exacerbate dyshidrosis. The most common cause of eczema is a general allergic over-sensitivity. Dyshidrotic Eczema is caused by abnormal sweating. Other types of eczema arise as a result of causes within the body. Dyshidrotic eczema can be severe, resulting in occupational disability and time away from work; however, disability compensation usually is not provided for this condition. Corticosteroid creams and ointments play an important role in the treatment of this disorder. Application of corticosteroid under plastic occlusion may increase their effectiveness.
Oral antihistamines may help to reduce itching. Antibiotics may be necessary if infection is present. Potent topical steroids should be applied to the affected areas nightly. They help reduce inflammation and itching. Plantain (Plantago major) infused in olive or other oil can be soothing. PUVA therapy can be useful in selected cases. This is a special kind of ultraviolet (UV) treatment. Unbleached cotton gloves may be used to cover the hands to prevent scratching and vulnerability of the skin to bacteria. Do not scratch the blisters. You should avoid frequent bathing and irritating substances, which can make itching worse. Khellin, a furanochromone similar to methoxypsoralens, may be used in combination with photochemotherapy (sun exposure) for recalcitrant palmoplantar cases.
Dyshidrotic Eczema Treatment and Treatment Tips
1. PUVA therapy can be useful in selected cases.
2. Domeboro (OTC) helps alleviate itching in the short term.
3. Efalizumab (Raptiva) a medication used to treat psoriasis
4. Topical steroids should be applied to the affected areas nightly.
5. Avoid metal computer keyboards and track pads which contain nickel.
6. Corticosteroid creams and ointments play an important role againest Dyshidrotic Eczema.
7. Avoid Purell and other hand sanitizing products which contain alcohol.
8. Wash affected hands and feet with cool water and apply a moisturizer as soon as possible