You may be suffering from what’s known as dyshidrotic eczema if you often develop blisters on the palms of your hands and/or soles of your feet. Those fluid-filled sacs may feel very itchy, and large ones in particular may cause some pain or discomfort. Also known as dyshidrosis, medical experts say that it may be caused by stress and allergies.
Generally, those blisters stay around for 2 to 4 weeks before they disappear. Some individuals who suffer from dyshidrotic eczema report that the affected parts end up cracked and are painful when touched.
Mild to moderate attacks may be treated with antihistamines. There are also various home remedies that are said to help in having the symptoms managed. Severe dyshidrotic eczema attacks may require more intensive treatment, such as ultraviolet light therapy and the administration of orally-taken steroids. In rare instances, a doctor may suggest the use of immune-suppressing creams on the affected areas.
Let us take a much closer look at this skin condition:
Cause and Risk Factors
Unfortunately, no one can say what exactly causes dyshidrotic eczema to develop. It is for this reason why doctors are unable to provide definitive ways on preventing as well as treating the skin condition.
However, there are certain things that may put you at high risk of developing dyshidrotic eczema. Experts say that you are likely to suffer from it if you experience high-level stress — physical or emotional. They also believe that it is actually a form of an allergic reaction, and that’s why those with hay fever or other allergies are more susceptible to having dyshidrotic eczema than those who don’t have them.
It is also said that people whose hands and feet are often moist or in contact with water may suffer from the skin condition. Similarly, exposure to chemicals like nickel, cobalt or chromium may trigger it too.
Signs and Symptoms
When dyshidrotic eczema attacks, blisters develop on the palms of the hands and/or soles of the feet. They also tend to appear on the fingers and toes. Blisters commonly develop on the edges of the said areas of the body.
The blisters tend to be itchy. Large ones may cause some pain or discomfort. It’s not unlikely for skin on the affected areas to eventually flake. Those fluid-filled sacs usually go away on their own in 2 to 4 weeks. However, they may end up as painful cracks on your skin as they dry up.
Scratching is a definite no-no. Otherwise, it may take those blisters a longer time to heal. You may also notice that skin in the areas where you scratch tend to be thicker when the dyshidrotic eczema attack subsides.
Diagnosing Dyshidrotic Eczema
Because many of the signs and symptoms of dyshidrotic eczema are similar to various other skin conditions, it’s not unlikely for a doctor order certain tests. One of them is a skin biopsy wherein a small patch of your skin will be examined in a laboratory. Allergy testing may also be warranted if it appears as though the condition is brought about by allergies.
Medical Treatment and Home Remedies
If you have mild to moderate case of the skin condition, you may be prescribed with an antihistamine to have the signs and symptoms lessened. A severe outbreak may call for the administration of stronger medications. For instance, you may be prescribed with orally-taken steroids.
The so-called ultraviolet light therapy is also effective in dealing with severe dyshidrotic eczema cases. In rare instances, the use of immune-suppressing cream may be recommended.
There are a handful of home remedies that can help in easing the signs and symptoms of dyshidrotic eczema. Some of them include wet compresses and the application of petroleum jelly or mineral oil. It’s a good idea to avoid unnecessary contact with water. Also, you should steer clear of using personal care products that contain irritating chemicals.