Eczema disease is manifested in different forms, characterized by inflammatory symptoms and vesicle formation. Dyshidrotic eczema is also a type of eczema that affects adult males more than females. It may be an acute, recurring or chronic condition. The etiology of this disease is linked to allergies and genetic factors. But, understanding the contagiousness of this eczema type is useful in adopting correct treatment approaches.
What is Dyshidrotic Eczema?
Dyshidrotic eczema is rare type of skin disease, observed in one out of 5,000 Americans. With reference to the skin symptoms, it is known by alternative names - dyshidrosis, cheiropompholyx, pompholyx and acute vesiculobullous hand eczema. What differentiates this skin ailment from other types of eczema is, the vesicular skin eruptions are exclusively present on the palm of the hands, sides of fingers and sole of the feet. The typical symptom of dyshidrotic eczema is small blister eruption in the specific sites, accompanied with pain, itchiness, swelling and rashes at the affected areas.
Dyshidrotic Eczema: Is it Contagious?
With unpleasant skin symptoms like scaling, peeling and crusting, patients having dyshidrotic eczema often feel awkward to interact with others. Also, the symptoms are present on most prominent areas of the hands, i.e. palm and fingers. Dyshidrotic eczema is not contagious. Thus, it is not transmittable from an affected individual to another, even if they come in direct skin contact with each other. Also, one need not worry about spreading dyshidrotic eczema through the fluid oozed from the blisters.
The actual causal reasons of dyshidrotic eczema are not clear. This is a major concerning issue, as doctors are not sure about how this form of skin ailment develops in patients. According to health experts, multiple factors are responsible for these skin outbreaks, which may include allergy, infections, stress, nutrient deficiency and sudden climatic changes. While dyshidrotic eczema is not transmittable, the skin areas exposed due to continuous scratching and pruritus become susceptible to pathogenic infections. These secondary infections are more likely to become contagious, and proper care should be taken to avoid the same.
Dyshidrotic Eczema Treatment and Prevention
The stages of dyshidrotic eczema are blister eruption, oozing of fluid, scaling, fissuring and finally lichenification. During this healing period, keeping the affected skin clean, cool and dry is an absolute necessity. Excess skin moisture or damp skin, heat and increased perspiration exacerbate the skin conditions, thereby lengthening the treatment course. Always keep a clean towel at hand to dab the area dry between fingers and palm. While handling water, consider wearing protective gloves to prevent contact of the affected skin with moisture.
Scratching, and any such activity that cause irritation to the skin, should be avoided strictly. Many patients have received prompt results with application of baking soda paste and soaking in diluted white vinegar. On the other hand, therapeutic treatment for dyshidrotic eczema involves using medications (topical steroids, anti-itch creams) to promote quick recovery of the blisters. In addition to personal care guidelines, proper stress management is recommended for ensuring positive response to the adopted therapeutic intervention.
In some cases, deep seated blisters on the inner fingers leave prominent scars after healing. This can be addressed with ultraviolet light therapy. With no known cause, precautionary measures of dyshidrotic eczema are aimed at avoiding recurrent bouts of this skin ailment. Exposure to nickel and chemical allergens is believed to be a main trigger for causing dyshidrosis. Hence, people who have had a history of this skin disorder should avoid foods that contain nickel and also, prevent nickel exposure of any kind. For female patients, don't wear jewelry made from allergenic metals.
Dyshidrotic eczema is not at all related to excessive perspiration, which was once believed to be the triggering factor of this skin disease. If, by any chance, secondary infections appear on the affected skin, apply topical antibiotics to avoid further skin complications. With proper skin care and minimizing allergens, recurrent dyshidrotic eczema can be prevented effectually.