4 Things You Need To Know About Dyshidrotic Eczema

Eczema is a household name, but not everyone knows that there is more than one variety of this itchy skin condition. One type of eczema, dyshidrotic eczema, causes blisters as well as itching. Here are four things you need to know about dyshidrotic eczema.

How do you know you have it?

Like other types of eczema, dyshidrotic eczema makes your skin itchy. It causes blisters to form on your hands and feet, and when you itch these blisters, they may pop and become painful. If you notice an itchy, blistered rash on your body, you may have dyshidrotic eczema and should see your dermatologist right away.

What causes dyshidrotic eczema?

The exact cause of this condition still isn't known, but researchers have identified a number of possible triggers, including emotional stress, temperature changes, humidity, and fungal infections. Exposure to allergens like nickel, fragrance, or lanolin may also trigger dyshidrotic eczema. Medications such as aspirin and oral contraceptives have also been suggested as possible triggers.

Researchers have also identified many health conditions that tend to co-occur in people with dyshidrotic eczema. About 40% of people with this type of eczema also have hyperhidrosis, a condition that causes excessive sweating. About 50% of dyshidrotic eczema suffers have conditions such as asthma or hay fever, or have family members who suffer the same.

Since there are so many possible causes, more studies need to be done to figure out why some people get dyshidrotic eczema. Your dermatologist may not be able to tell you why you developed this condition, but they can help you treat it.

How is it treated?

There are many treatments available for dyshidrotic eczema. Your dermatologist may give you a prescription for a corticosteroid cream. Corticosteroids work by reducing inflammation and can help make your blisters heal more quickly. If your eczema is severe, your dermatologist may recommend oral corticosteroids instead of creams.

If you don't want to take steroids, or if they don't work, your dermatologist may give you creams to suppress your immune system. These creams are applied to the affected area and can help to clear your blisters, but since they suppress your immune system, they can make you more likely to develop skin infections.

If creams aren't enough, don't worry, because there are many other treatments available. Your dermatologist may recommend ultraviolet A treatment. During this treatment, you'll be exposed to ultraviolet light two to three times a week. At first, a low level of ultraviolet light is used, but as the treatment progresses, your exposure will increase.

Botulinum toxin injections can also be used to treat dyshidrotic eczema. You probably already know that these injections can be used to erase wrinkles, but studies have found that they can also be very effective in the treatment of dyshidrotic eczema. One study found that 7 out of 10 dyshidrotic eczema sufferers were helped by injections of Botulinum toxin.

Is it common?

Dyshidrotic eczema is a fairly uncommon type of eczema. It only affects between 5% and 20% of people with hand eczema. It's more common in warmer climates and it's also more likely to flare up during the warm spring and summer months. Most people with dyshidrotic eczema are between 20 and 40 years old, though it has been recorded in people as young as four and as old as 76.

If you think you have this condition, see your dermatologist right away to be diagnosed and treated. There are many treatments available, ranging from corticosteroids to immunosuppressants to ultraviolet light to Botulinum toxin injections, so your dermatologist will be able to find a treatment that works for you. You can click here to find out more about what a dermatologist can do to help treat your condition.