If you have small bumps on your hands that itch and sting, you may have a condition called dyshidrotic eczema. This type of eczema is also called pompholyx or vesicular palmoplantar dermatitis. It’s marked by the development of tiny blisters filled with clear fluid. Dyshidrotic eczema can be uncomfortable and make everyday tasks difficult to perform. The good news is there are treatments available to help improve symptoms and prevent flare-ups from occurring.
Dyshidrotic eczema most commonly affects adults between the ages of 20 and 40 years old, although children can develop the condition as well. Women are affected more often than men, and people who live in warm climates seem to be at higher risk for developing this form of eczema (although it can occur anywhere). People with certain medical conditions such as psoriasis or atopic dermatitis (eczema) seem to be more likely to get dyshidrosis too. Having sweaty palms or feet increases your risk as well since moisture helps promote blister formation.”
If you have dyshidrotic eczema, there are also things you can do at home to help manage your symptoms and prevent flare-ups. Be sure to keep your hands and feet clean and dry as much as possible. Wear loose-fitting cotton gloves or socks when working with water or other liquids. And avoid coming into contact with irritants such as soap, detergent, or harsh chemicals whenever possible.”
Dyshidrotic eczema usually starts as an occasional itchiness on the palms of your hand or soles of your feet. The itching leads to redness and then tiny blisters filled with clear fluid form under the skin surface — often in clusters around the edges of your palms or fingers. In severe cases, large blisters can develop all over the soles of both feet at once (generalized pompholyx). As these blisters heal — which takes about two weeks — they turn brownish and crusted before finally disappearing altogether. Some people only get one bout of dyshidrotic eczema in their lifetime while others experience periodic flare-ups throughout their lives.
There is no known cure for dyshidrotic eczema, but there are treatments that can help reduce the frequency and severity of flare-ups. Topical corticosteroids are usually the first line of defense against active symptoms. These drugs help to reduce inflammation and can be very effective in controlling mild to moderate cases of dyshidrosis. For more severe flares, your doctor may prescribe oral steroids or other immunosuppressive medications. Ultraviolet light therapy may also be used in some cases.