Dyshidrotic eczema is a form of skin inflammatory disease characterized by severely painful blisters and itchy marks on the fingers, hands and soles of the feet. When a person suffers from itchiness and intense swelling on the hands is said to suffer from a medical condition called cheiropompholyx. When deep-seated swelling occurs on the feet, the term used is known as pedopompholyx.
This form of eczema appearing on the hands affect people who frequently keep their hands immersed in water for a longer duration. Studies show that nurses, florists and cooks are most likely to be affected with hand eczema. Eczema occurring on the soles of the feet may be aggravated by the warm and moist conditions inside the shoes, if worn for longer period of time. Hand eczema is a more common occurrence in women than in men. This form of skin swelling starts is characterized with itchy blisters and small red bums appearing on the sides of the finger and gradually developing into rashes.
Causes of Dyshidrotic eczema
The exact root cause of this form of skin swelling has not been found yet by medical researchers. It often occurs when a person is suffering from some form of skin disease such as contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, bacterial infection or some other emotional stress. Contact with some forms of allergens and environmental irritants are also said to trigger dyshidrotic eczema. Weather changes and psychological stress is also said to cause this form of eczema. It is said to be caused due to both endogenous conditions and exogenous factors. Here is a list of some of the potential causes of dyshidrotic eczema:
- Genetic factors-Most cases of dyshidrotic eczema are found in people who had familial or personal atopic diathesis. The first signal of an atopic diathesis is dyshidrotic eczema. Sometimes, even monozygotic twins stand a higher risk of being affected simultaneously by dyshidrotic eczema.
- Nickel sensitivity-Scientific studies have shown higher nickel excretion in the urine of dyshidrotic eczema patients. Nickel sensitivity is considered to be a major factor in triggering this form of skin swelling. High exposure to nickel and other metals is also believed to trigger swelling of hands and soles of the feet. Exacerbations of pompholyx in some cases are attributed to this high nickel sensitivity.
- Cobalt sensitivity-Oral ingestion of cobalt also results in systemic allergic dermatitis in the form of dyshidrotic eczema. A large percentage of nickel-sensitive patients getting affected with pompholyx are cases of simultaneous occurrence of nickel and cobalt allergy.
- Emotional stress-A number of patients with dyshidrotic eczema report occurrence of pompholyx during stressful period. Emotional disturbances are said to cause skin swelling combined with itchiness and redness.
- UV-A light-Exposure to long-wavelength UV-A light is said to trigger typical lesions as that found to be histologically consistent with vesicular dermatitis. However, interestingly, UV-B phototherapy and photochemotherapy are considered to be effective therapies in treating pompholyx. Scientific studies have ruled out polymorphic light eruption, heat and contact dermatitis as the cause of severe skin lesions in dyshidrotic eczema patients.
Signs and symptoms of dyshidrotic eczema
A person suffering from dyshidrotic eczema gets deep-seated, visible blisters. The skin becomes scaly, patchy as well as thick and painful fissures starts appearing on the surface of the skin. Bacterial infection is one of the most severe complications arising in patients suffering from dyshidrotic eczema. Seasonal changes also affect the patient diagnosed with this form of eczema. Symptoms may become severe during summer months and a person might experience more itchiness and rashes on the fingers with rising heat and due to sweat conditions.
Besides experiencing severe skin irritation, skin can flake off constantly and hands as well as feet may appear dry, cracked and scaly. In some severe cases of dyshidrotic eczema, rashes on the fingers as well as soles of the feet can turn into something worse like weepy, small red bumps.
Treatment for dyshidrotic eczema
If you are suffering from hand or feet eczema then you will have to be patient to get this skin disease treated as there is no quick and easy solution to get rid of this severe form of eczema. Find out the root cause of dyshidrotic eczema in order to treat it effectively. If you have developed skin itchiness and rashes on the fingers of your hand because of constant wetting the hands then avoid getting your hands into too much water. Also stay away from possible triggers such as preservatives, chemicals, perfumes, soaps and other household cleansers that cause severe skin inflammation. Do not touch nickel, cobalt and other metals if they induce conditions that aggravate hand and feet eczema.