Dyshidrotic eczema, or pompholyx as it may also be known, affects people of any age. Although it most common in adults under 40. It’s possible to have them all around the edges of your palms, fingers, toes and the soles of your feet. Experiences that people may have is an outbreak which can be painful for about a week or so.
Some forms of eczema are more extreme than others and can become much more aggresive towards the skin. Knowing the different types could be vital with regards to how you treat it.
First of all, there are multiple types of eczema, all presenting with their own array of symptoms. The National Eczema Association in the US lists the following as the most prevalent forms:
Eczema is most popularly known as atopic dermatitis, or contact dermatitis. Both of these are inflammatory responses, though atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis symptoms include dry skin that may flake, and/or thickening of the skin (leathery skin) along with the lesions that normally are associated with eczema. The causes are how these two differ. The atopic variant is caused as part of your body reacting to an allergen that’s either inside or outside your body; Whereas contact dermatitis occurs on exposure to an irritant such as a chemical, or contact with an allergen.
As was mentioned earlier, dyshidrodic eczema is a condition that involves numerous small blisters appearing on the skin around your hands and feet. These blisters are often filled with liquid and are almost always itchy. The cause has been attributed to:
Though some sources state that these may trigger, or worsen the condition, as the mechanisms are not known well enough to attribute them to being a cause.
There’s a variety of treatments, though rather than treating the cause, the majority of these focus on the treatment of the symptoms. The most basic involves soaking the affected areas in very weak potassium permanganate solutions or using OTC antihistamines to help reduce itching. In instances of severe dyshidrotic eczema, or cases that recur frequently, more intense therapies may be recommended. These include; UV therapy, oral steroids, or even immunosuppressants.
With regards to prevention of dyshidrotic eczema (pompholyx), there are very few things that can be done. Keeping a good skincare regime, using moisturizers and barrier creams will help reduce the risk of irritation. Some soaps and detergents can also cause outbreaks.
Look after your skin when the blisters break and try not to break them intentionally. Bacterial and fungal skin infections are a common occurrence in cases of eczema.
If you have this form of eczema, and it’s particularly serious (more than a few small blisters, or excessive irritation/itchiness/pain) schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. Avoid popping blisters, as it may lead to complications such as bacterial or fungal infections.