If you have eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, your skin is likely to be dry, itchy, and red. You may also have rough patches or cracks ( called fissures), which can be painful. Dyshidrotic eczema is a type of eczema that causes small blisters on your hands and feet. The word “dyshidrosis” comes from the Greek words for “difficult” and “sweat.” It’s sometimes called pompholyx or vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis.
Dyshidrotic eczema usually starts with an itch or tingling feeling on the palms or soles of your feet. Then tiny blisters appear. They grow quickly over 1-3 days until they are about 0.2 inches (5 millimeters) across. These clear fluid-filled blisters tend to cluster together. After 2-4 weeks, the blisters go away without rupturing, but new ones might crop up in other areas as the old ones heal. In between flare-ups, your skin might look perfectly normal.
Dyshidrotic eczema can come and go. It tends to be more common in women than men, and it often starts around age 20. People with this condition usually have a history of other types of eczema, hay fever, or asthma. Stress might trigger an outbreak. So can contact with metals such as nickel, cobalt, or chromium; wet work gloves; soaps; detergents; fruit juices; or even sweat.
If you have dyshidrotic eczema, your skin will be itchy and dry. You might also have:
Painful cracks (fissures) in the skin of your palms or soles
Blisters that ooze clear fluid and then crust over
Redness and swelling
Scaling or peeling skin
Dyshidrotic eczema can be uncomfortable and make it hard to do your normal activities. But it’s not contagious, so you don’t have to worry about passing it on to others.