Disease: Dyshidrosis

    Overview

    Dyshidrosis, also known as dyshidrotic eczema or pompholyx, is a skin condition in which very small, fluid-filled blisters appear on the palms of your hands and the sides of your fingers. The soles of your feet also can be affected.

    The blisters that occur in dyshidrosis generally last around three weeks and cause intense itching. Once the blisters of dyshidrosis dry, your skin may appear scaly. The blisters typically recur, sometimes before your skin heals completely from the previous blisters.

    Treatment for dyshidrosis most often includes creams or ointments that you rub on the affected skin. In severe cases, your doctor may suggest corticosteroid pills, such as prednisone, or injections.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

    Symptoms

    The blisters associated with dyshidrosis occur most commonly on the sides of the fingers and the palms. Sometimes the soles of the feet also can be affected. The blisters are usually small — about the width of a standard pencil lead — and grouped in clusters, with an appearance similar to tapioca.

    In more-severe cases, the small blisters may merge to form larger blisters. Skin affected by dyshidrosis can be painful and very itchy. Once the blisters dry and flake off, which occurs in about three weeks, the underlying skin may be red and tender.

    Dyshidrosis tends to recur fairly regularly for months or years.

    When to see a doctor

    Call your doctor if you have a rash on your hands or feet that doesn't go away on its own.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

    Causes

    The cause of dyshidrosis is unknown. It can be associated with a similar skin disorder called atopic dermatitis, as well as with allergic conditions, such as hay fever. Eruptions may be seasonal in people with nasal allergies.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

    Diagnosis

    In most cases, your doctor can diagnose dyshidrosis based on a physical exam. No lab test can specifically confirm a diagnosis of dyshidrosis, but your doctor may suggest tests to rule out other skin problems that have similar symptoms.

    For example, a scraping of your skin can be tested for the type of fungus that causes problems such as athlete's foot. Skin allergies and sensitivities can be revealed by exposing patches of your skin to various substances.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

    Complications

    For most people with dyshidrosis, it's just an itchy inconvenience. For others, the pain and itching may limit the use of their hands or feet. Intense scratching can increase the risk of a bacterial infection developing in the affected skin.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

    Prevention

    Because the cause of dyshidrosis is generally unknown, there's no proven way to prevent this condition. You may help prevent the condition by managing stress and avoiding exposure to metal salts, such as cobalt and nickel.

    Good skin care practices may help protect the skin as well. These include:

    • Using mild cleansers and lukewarm water to wash your hands and drying your hands well
    • Moisturizing regularly
    • Wearing gloves

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

    Lifestyle and home remedies

    Home treatment might include:

    • Applying compresses. Wet, cool compresses may help reduce itching.
    • Taking anti-itch drugs. Over-the-counter antihistamine medications such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) or loratadine (Claritin, Alavert, others) can help relieve itching.
    • Applying witch hazel. Soaking the affected areas in witch hazel may speed healing.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

    Risk factors

    Risk factors for dyshidrosis include:

    • Stress. Dyshidrosis appears to be more common during times of emotional or physical stress.
    • Exposure to certain metals. These include cobalt and nickel — usually in an industrial setting.
    • Sensitive skin. People who develop a rash after contact with certain irritants are more likely to experience dyshidrosis.
    • Atopic eczema. Some people with atopic eczema may develop dyshidrotic eczema.

    Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com

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