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Alternative Names Return to topDyshidrosis; Pompholyx
Definition Return to top
Dyshidrotic eczema is a condition in which small, itchy blisters develop on the hands and feet.
Causes Return to top
The cause is unknown. The condition seems to appear during certain times of the year.
Symptoms Return to top
Small fluid-filled blisters called vesicles appear on the hands and feet. They are most common along the edges of the fingers, toes, palms and soles. These blisters cause intense itching.
Scratching leads to skin changes and skin thickening. There may be cracks on the fingers or toes.
Large blisters may cause pain.
Exams and Tests Return to top
Your doctor may be able to diagnose this condition by simply looking at your skin.
Sometimes, a skin biopsy or skin scraping may be needed to rule out other causes such as a fungal infection.
Treatment Return to top
Do not scratch the blisters. You should avoid frequent bathing and irritating substances, which can make itching worse.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
Dyshidrotic eczema normally goes away without problems, but symptoms may later return. Excess scratching may lead to thick, irritated skin, which is more difficult to treat and takes longer to heal.
Possible Complications Return to top
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call your doctor if you have tenderness, redness, warmth, or fever, which may be signs of an infection. You should also call your doctor if you have any type of rash that does not go away with simple home treatments.
References Return to top
Behrman RE. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 17th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders; 2004.
Habif TP. Clinical Dermatology. 4th ed. St. Louis, Mo: Mosby; 2004.Update Date: 10/28/2008 Updated by: Michael Lehrer, M.D., Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.