Images of Dyshidrotic Eczema (6)
Dyshidrotic eczema (dyshidrotic dermatitis) is an itchy rash that occurs on the hands (usually the palms and sides of the fingers) and/or the feet. Dyshidrotic eczema manifests as small, itchy, fluid-filled blisters. Sometimes the blisters are very small, like pinpoints, and sometimes they are larger, covering almost the whole palm or foot. The fluid inside the blister can be clear or white to yellow. It is not known what causes this condition, but it is more common in people with eczema. Even in people without sensitive skin, it seems to be triggered by the same things that trigger eczema: cold, dry air or contact with irritants that bother the skin. In other people, a warm, moist climate may be the trigger.
Who's At Risk?
Dyshidrotic eczema is rare in younger children. When children do get the condition, it usually occurs after age 10 years.
Signs & Symptoms
- The most common location of dyshidrotic eczema is on the hands, and it is sometimes also seen on the feet.
- Small, firm, fluid-filled blisters (vesicles) appear on the surfaces of both palms and both soles and on the sides of the fingers and toes.
- These blisters can appear deep in the skin due to the thickness of the skin on the palms.
- In severe cases, the small blisters can join and form bullae (blisters that are larger than a thumbnail).
- The blisters may break open, ooze, and form a scaly crust.
Your child should avoid anything that irritates the skin in the affected areas. Handwashing with mild soaps or cleansers and frequent application of thick emollient creams (eg, Eucerin, Aquaphor, and CeraVe) and petroleum jelly (eg, Vaseline) may be beneficial. Do not pop the blisters of dyshidrotic eczema because of the risk of infection.
To manage dyshidrotic eczema, your child’s medical professional may recommend:
- A topical steroid cream, lotion, or ointment.
- Ultraviolet light therapy in more severe or recurrent cases.
See your child’s medical professional for evaluation if they have a rash on the hands and/or feet that does not improve with self-care measures.
Bolognia J, Schaffer JV, Cerroni L. Dermatology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018.
James WD, Elston D, Treat JR, Rosenbach MA. Andrew’s Diseases of the Skin. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019.
Kang S, Amagai M, Bruckner AL, et al. Fitzpatrick’s Dermatology. 9th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education; 2019.
Paller A, Mancini A. Paller and Mancini: Hurwitz Clinical Pediatric Dermatology. 6th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier; 2022.
Last modified on May 16th, 2023 at 5:18 pm
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