Get the tools and support you need to best manage your eczema

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Understanding Dyshidrotic Eczema

This common form of eczema produces small, itchy blisters on the edges of the fingers, toes, palms, and soles of the feet, and is twice as common in women as it is in men. Stress, allergies (such as hay fever), moist hands and feet, and contact with nickel (in metal-plated jewelry), cobalt (found in metal-plated objects and in pigments used in paints and enamels), or chromium salts (used in the manufacturing of cement, mortar, leather, paints and anticorrosives) may be “triggers” of dyshidrotic eczema.

Doctors also may refer to dyshidrotic eczema as:

  • Cheiropompholyx
  • Dyshidrosis
  • Foot-and-hand eczema
  • Pompholyx
  • Vesicular eczema
  • Palmoplantar eczema

There is no cure for dyshidrotic eczema, but the good news is, in many cases it’s manageable. And like all types of the condition, it isn’t contagious. You cannot “catch” dyshidrotic eczema from another person, or give it to someone else.

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What does dyshidrotic eczema look like?

All types of eczema cause itching and redness. But some, like dyshidrotic eczema, look and act slightly different than others.

Some symptoms of dyshidrotic eczema:

  • Small fluid-filled blisters on the fingers, hands, and feet
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Flaking
  • Scaly, cracked skin
  • Pain

Deep-appearing blisters that are typical of dyshidrotic eczema.

Dyshidrotic eczema blisters are often hard to see because of thick skin on the palms and fingers.

Dyshidrotic eczema usually causes small, clear fluid-filled blisters on the sides of the fingers.

It’s important to understand which type of eczema you may have and also your symptoms and triggers, so that you can better treat and manage it. The only way to be sure that you have a form of eczema, including dyshidrotic eczema, is to make an appointment with your doctor.

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Learn what triggers to avoid — like metal-plated jewelry — that can really set off certain types of eczema

  • Understand the differences between dyshidrotic eczema, atopic dermatitis and contact dermatitis
  • Learn which treatments for your type of eczema are making headlines
  • Discover which triggers to avoid for your specific type of eczema
  • Explore alternative treatments for eczema and get lifestyle tips from our team of experts

How can I control my dyshidrotic eczema?

There is no surefire way to prevent eczema, including dyshidrotic eczema. However, good skin care, and daily bathing and moisturizing can help strengthen your skin against irritation, so that it doesn’t flare up, or get worse. The most important thing to remember is to be consistent.

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Some basic things you can do to help control your dyshidrotic eczema:

  • Learn your eczema triggers and avoid them
  • Moisturize every day
  • Wear soft, loose-clothing (like cotton) and avoid rough, scratchy fibers (like wool)
  • Take lukewarm baths and showers, using mild soap or non-soap cleansers
  • Gently pat your skin dry (don’t rub) with a soft towel
  • Apply a moisturizer within three minutes after bathing to “lock in” moisture
  • When possible, avoid rapid changes of temperature and activities that make you sweat
  • Use a humidifier in cold, dry weather
  • Keep your fingernails short to help prevent scratching from breaking the skin
  • If you have known allergic triggers, remove carpets from your house and give your pets dander treatments

Learn more about how to control and treat your eczema.