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Dyshidrotic Eczema Treatment

Dyshidrotic is a form of eczema that affects the hands and the feet. This form of dermatitis is characterized by development of small blisters. While medication and other treatment options can help in alleviating the symptoms, following certain self-care measures can help in preventing a recurrence in future.
Dhanya Joy
Last Updated: Mar 20, 2018
Quick Fact
While hyperhidrosis or excessive sweating was believed to be the cause of dyshidrotic eczema, research studies have ruled out the possibility of excessive sweating as the cause. However, profuse sweating may be an aggravating factor.

Dyshidrotic eczema, which is also referred to as pompholyx or vesicular eczema of the hands and/or feet, is a type of skin condition that is characterized by the development of tiny blisters that itch. When the blisters appear on the palms or fingers, the affected individual is diagnosed with cheiropompholyx. When the blisters appear on feet, the affected individual is said to suffer from pedopompholyx. It is a kind of chronic dermatitis that is recurrent in nature. If left untreated, the vesicular eruptions can also become infected. The exact cause of this skin condition is still unknown.
Symptoms

» Development of tiny fluid-filled blisters
» Itching
» Inflammation, redness and burning sensation
» Severe dryness
» Peeling and cracking of the skin after the blisters have burst
» Nail infection and fingernail problems
» Thickening of the skin and other skin changes that could be triggered by scratching
Risk Factors

This form of dermatitis may get aggravated due to a change in the weather. Winters could be a bit more problematic for people who suffer from this condition. The onset of this skin condition is sudden and it can occur in people of all ages. Although the exact cause for this condition is not known, it is believed that hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), atopic eczema, allergic contact dermatitis, irritant contact dermatitis, metal sensitivity, fungal infections and stress can act as triggers. An examination of skin scraping or a skin biopsy may help in diagnosing this chronic form of dermatitis. Patch testing may also be recommended if an allergic reaction is believed to be the triggering factor.
Treatment

While many treatment options are available, some people may find that methods initially used, do not work for them later. It is best to avoid the triggers and follow precautionary measures to prevent a recurrence so as to avoid situations like this.
Medication
Drug therapy usually involves the use of anti-itch creams and antihistamines to reduce severe itching and inflammation. Antihistamines such as diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and loratiadine (Claritin) may help in relieving itching. Application of topical steroid creams and ointments that contain cortisone or zinc oxide also proves beneficial. In case of a secondary bacterial infection, antibiotics should be taken under the supervision of a dermatologist. When other treatment options don't work, the use of immunosuppressive drugs such as pimecrolimus and tacrolimus may be recommended.
PUVA Therapy
The PUVA (psoralen combined with ultraviolet A) therapy is a special type of UV treatment that involves soaking the affected areas in psoralen solution and then exposing it to long wave ultraviolet A radiation. Long-term use of this therapy may increase the risk of skin cancer. Those who are undergoing this therapy must comply to the precautionary measures or instructions given by the dermatologist. It is equally important to inform the doctor about any skin changes or adverse reactions.
Natural Remedies

Here are some natural remedies for alleviating the symptoms of dyshidrotic eczema.
✓ Soaking the affected part of the skin in sea salt or white vinegar soak or a diluted potassium permanganate solution can help relieve the itching, scaling and dryness associated with this type of eczema. Soak your palms, fingers or feet for around 40 minutes, twice a day.
✓ Use a mild moisturizer to moisturize your hands and feet regularly.
✓ Regular oatmeal baths can also prove beneficial.
✓ To smoothen and soften the skin, apply flaxseed oil or coconut oil to the affected area.
✓ Sunbathing for a short time can also help cure this skin condition.
✓ Application of a cold compress or aloe vera gel will also soothe the affected area of the skin.
Dos and Don'ts

Always keep your palm and feet clean and dry.
✓ Use cool or lukewarm water for bathing.
✓ Wear hand gloves while carrying out household activities that involve exposure to water, detergents, soap and other cleaning agents.
✓ Clean the jewelry that you wear on your fingers regularly.
✓ Follow a healthy diet and avoid excessive consumption of processed foods.

Do not bathe in hot water.
✘ Don't scratch or burst the blisters.
✘ Do not expose the affected area to harsh chemicals, soaps and fabrics that can trigger the condition.
✘ Avoid the consumption of caffeine and follow a nickel-free diet.
✘ Don't rub your skin after bathing. Always pat it dry with a soft cloth or towel.
While drug therapy and PUVA therapy can help in alleviating the symptoms associated with dyshidrotic eczema, it is extremely essential to seek medical assistance for the pre-existing medical conditions that may predispose a person to develop this form of dermatitis. Avoidance of triggers will surely prove helpful. Dealing with stress and avoiding exposure to certain irritants and allergens can certainly go a long way in averting a recurrence or flare-ups in future.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.