What is Dyshidrotic Eczema?

What is dyshidrotic eczema

By Dr. Eddie Valenzuela

Do you or anyone you know have itchy palms or itchy feet? If so, you may have a form of eczema called Dyshidrotic Eczema. This itchy diagnosis goes by many names. It can be referred to as Hand Eczema, dyshidrosis, vesiculobullous dermatitis, or acute Palmoplantar Eczema and is also called Pompholyx.

What Is Dyshidrotic Eczema?

Itchy—check. Have you ever looked at your hands and wondered why it looks like there are really small flesh-colored or clear beads on the sides of some or all of your fingers or on the palms of your hands?

These symptoms of itch followed by the development of vesicles or small bumps are typical of Dyshidrotic Eczema. It is a chronic skin condition that causes small itchy blisters to form on hands, feet, and fingers. 

The symptoms of dyshidrotic eczema in some cases may disappear with time and never come back. However, in some cases, they may reappear again throughout life in the form of flare-ups. People used to think that this condition was caused by hyperactive sweat glands but now the scientific community thinks otherwise.

Dyshidrotic Eczema Causes?

The exact cause of dyshidrotic eczema is unknown, but people with excessive sweating of the hands and feet are more disposed to getting this. It is also thought changes in seasons can cause a flare. A physician will also likely ask about exposures to metals like cobalt and nickel and look for evidence of fungal infections as sometimes these can cause other forms of dermatitis on the hands

Symptoms Of Dyshidrotic Eczema

The symptoms of Dyshidrotic Eczema usually appear on the 

  • On the palms
  • Sides of the fingers
  • Soles of feet
  • On the toes

Some of the common symptoms of Pompholyx are:

  • Itchy skin
  • Small blisters
  • Scaly skin
  • Excess sweating around blisters
  • Dry skin
  • Burning sensation
  • Change of nail color

Who Is At Risk?

Dyshidrotic eczema can affect anyone but it is more common in

  • People between the ages of 20 and 40
  • Family history of eczema, contact dermatitis, asthma, and allergies
  • Females are more likely to develop it than the males.
  • People who receive Intravenous immunoglobulin (protective antibody injection).

How Is Dyshidrotic Eczema Diagnosed?

If you suspect you are experiencing small blisters and fluid-filled bumps on your hands and feet then consult a dermatologist. You are most likely to be experiencing dyshidrotic eczema. The dermatologist or your healthcare provider will first physically examine your symptoms and inquire about your and your family’s health history of eczema. 

If still unsure the doctor may prescribe a skin biopsy or blood test to make sure these blisters are not caused by any other skin condition. They may also perform a patch test to figure out which irritant is causing your dyshidrotic eczema.

Dyshidrotic Eczema Treatment

Even though there is no permanent cure for dyshidrotic eczema, there are certain things you can do to soothe the itching, and irritation, and prevent future flare-ups.

  • Use lukewarm water instead of hot water to wash your hands and feet or take a bath. 
  • Clean the affected area with a gentle non-soap cleanser every day.
  • Make sure to moisturize the skin with an eczema cream at least twice daily.
  • Don’t wear socks or gloves that retain moisture in them and keep your hands and feet damp.
  • Use a humidifier in cold dry weather to keep the air moist and prevent your skin from drying up. 
  • Avoid scratching the blisters; it can cause scarring and infections.
  • If you know which allergen might be causing your eczema then try staying away from it. 
  • In severe cases the doctor may prescribe topical corticosteroid cream and antihistamines.

Best Moisturizer For Dry Skin

Dyshidrotic Eczema and Happy Cappy

Happy Cappy was made for people with itchy skin conditions like Dyshidrotic Eczema. Skin that is broken and irritated can have a higher pH than normal skin which has a low pH (4-5). Many commercially available soaps tend to have high pHs. Using a soap that also has a low pH (similar to non-irritated skin) can help normalize the pH of irritated skin and improve skin barrier function.

Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo & Body Wash is an irritant-free cleanser infused with soothing ingredients Provitamin B5, Oatmeal Extract, Aloe Vera, Hyaluronic Acid, Licorice Root Extract, and Glycerin.  These natural ingredients help draw moisture into the skin. Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo & Body Wash has the low pH you need and avoids dye, parabens and sulfates.

Happy Cappy Moisturizing Cream is an irritant-free moisturizer that protects and restores the skin barrier. Happy Cappy’s proprietary formulation uses pharmaceutical grade white petrolatum with Licorice Root Extract, Glycerin, and other smoothing emulsifiers to make a non-greasy product perfect for reapplying throughout the day.


  1. Amini, Sadegh. “Dyshidrotic Eczema (Pompholyx) Treatment & Management.” Medscape. Updated: Apr 22, 2020. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1122527-overview . Accessed 30 June 2020.
  2. Paller, Amy and Anthony Mancini. Hurwitz Clinical Pediatric Dermatology. Third Edition. Elsevier Inc. 2006.


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Dr. Eddie Valenzuela is an award winning pediatrician and the founder and CEO of Pediatric Solutions, LLC.

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Is dyshidrotic eczema contagious?

Dyshidrotic eczema is not contagious. It means that this disease cannot spread from one person to another by touching or using the accessories of an affected person. However, it can be caused by sweaty hands and feet.

Can you pop dyshidrotic eczema?

It is not recommended to pop blisters caused by dyshidrotic eczema. Leave them as they are and wait for the skin to make a layer and crack open the blisters automatically. If you scratch or cut the blisters prematurely, it can cause infection and scarring.

What is the fluid in dyshidrotic eczema?

The fluid in the blisters caused by dyshidrotic eczema is called interstitial fluid. This fluid comes near the wound where there is inflammation.

Is dyshidrotic eczema an autoimmune disease?

Technically, Eczema is not an autoimmune disease. However, both share similarities, so people compare it with autoimmune disease. However, studies need to prove its authenticity.

What does dyshidrotic eczema look like?

Dyshidrotic eczema usually causes fluid-filled blisters on the fingers, hands, and feet. In some cases, these blisters can be painful and in most cases they are itchy.

Is dyshidrotic eczema a lifelong disease?

It is a chronic skin condition, meaning it may appear once in your lifetime or be a part of it forever in flare-ups.

What is the permanent cure for dyshidrotic eczema?

There is no permanent cure for eczema as it is a chronic skin condition. But you can easily manage it by keeping your skin clean with the gentle Happy Cappy Daily Shampoo and Body Wash and soothe the itchiness and redness with Happy Cappy Eczema Cream.

How long does dyshidrotic eczema last?

It usually lasts around 3 to 4 weeks with proper care and treatment. In some cases, it may never come again, but sometimes, it becomes a lifelong issue and comes and goes from time to time.

Can dyshidrotic eczema spread to the face?

Dyshidrotic eczema usually targets the hands and feet. It does not spread to the face.

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