The skin is the largest organ of the human body and it is there where very annoying pathologies manifest themselves , which aesthetically affect the human being. One of these diseases is dyshidrosis , which manifests itself very particularly in the hands and feet.

In the following article, we give you all the information about this pathology and we explain what are the existing therapeutic alternatives for its treatment.

What is dyshidrosis?

Dyshidrosis, also called dyshidrotic eczema or pompholix in some medical literature, belongs to the group of pathologies called eczema, whose cause is attributed to endogenous factors , which can appear in response to different stimuli, or triggers not yet defined by science.

This occurs in the hands and feet, especially in women, and is characterized by the formation of small fluid-filled blisters on the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. This disease has been related to another pathology called spongiotic dermatitis.

Note: In an article on “Dyshidrosis” , spongiotic dermatitis is directly related to the appearance of vesicles typical of dyshidrosis. (1)

What causes dyshidrosis?

The causes that originate dyshidrosis are not entirely clear and are associated with other diseases. Here we describe some of them:

1. Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is the skin manifestation of a generalized allergic situation . People with atopic dermatitis often also have blisters and eczema as a manifestation of dyshidrosis.

In addition to this, it has been stated that atopic dermatitis causes an alteration in the protective and immunological functions of the skin, which is why these blisters appear on the hands and/or feet.

2. Allergies

The appearance of dyshidrosis has also been related to different pathologies allergic to substances such as perfumes, medicines or nickel. Other allergic pathologies, such as contact dermatitis or asthma, have also been associated with this disease.

When the suffering of this disease is known, in prevention foods such as herring, beans, onions, corn, spinach among others should be limited, since these could cause allergic reactions in certain people.

To highlight: A study on “The role of allergy to metals and local hyperhidrosis in the pathogenesis of pompholyx” , concludes that in vivo studies there is evidence to affirm that there is sensitivity to metallic compounds that can trigger dyshidrosis in people . (two)

3. Infections

Other conditions have also been associated with the appearance of vesicles on the hands or feet, such as fungal skin infections , even in cases where it is far from hands and feet, such as mycosis in the groin or HIV infections.

One study linked tinea pedis infection , commonly called athlete’s foot , to the appearance of vesicular rashes on the hands. (3)

4. Hay fever

This pathology is characterized by cold-like signs and symptoms, such as runny nose, itchy eyes, congestion, sneezing, among others. During the suffering of hay fever in patients, the formation of vesicles and blisters on the hands and/or feet have also been observed.

5. Stress

Stress is characterized by appearing as a physiological reaction of the organism , which generates a response to conditions perceived by the individual as demanding, activating the immune system that can sometimes disturb the physical and emotional balance of a person.

In certain patients with states of emotional stress , after the specialist’s diagnostic examination, the appearance of dyshidrosis has been detected.

To highlight: In an article on “Stress in the field of health professionals “, it is stated that among the most representative physical symptoms of stress, dyshidrosis is included as one of the skin disorders. (4)

6. Sensitive skin

The skin of our body can become sensitized for various reasons , ranging from environmental factors such as thermal fluctuations, to internal triggers such as hormonal changes . Skin alterations such as flaking, redness, swelling or roughness may occur.

Dyshidrosis symptoms

The symptoms that this disease manifests are more associated with other diseases that trigger dyshidrosis. Here we mention them:

1. Blisters on hands and feet

The main manifestation of this disease is the appearance of small vesicles or large blisters filled with fluid. These blisters appear particularly on the palms of the hands, between the fingers, and on the soles of the feet.

2. Peeling of the skin

The desquamation of the vesicles , or the blisters depending on the stage of the condition, is another of the characteristics of this disease.

In some patients the vesicular phase predominates, when the eczema is mild or moderate in intensity, and in others the scaly phase, where the affectation is more severe, giving rise to erosions and fissures.

3. Pain, irritation and itching

Another characteristic of dyshidrosis is the presence of pain when the blister increases in size , and this is because it grows towards the internal part of the skin, specifically towards the dermis. Pressure on the gallbladder or blister causes a painful reaction.

Likewise, in the areas adjacent to the vesicle or the blister , inflamed and red areas or erythemas are created that cause irritation and itching.

How to combat dyshidrosis?

Since dyshidrosis is a disease that has no cure, the treatments that must be recommended in each particular case are aimed at mitigating the symptoms of other pathologies that give rise to dyshidrosis. We mention the most used:

1. Cold compresses

Traditional medicine recommends the application of cold compresses as a home treatment, in order to reduce the uncomfortable sensations of irritation and itching.

Note: The treatment is aimed at mitigating the effects of dyshidrosis, since this disease has no cure and there are no treatments to control the outbreaks.

2. Topical or oral corticosteroids

In cases where dyshidrosis is proven to be caused by some type of allergy, the use of topical or oral corticosteroid drugs is recommended to mitigate allergy symptoms and thereby achieve faster recovery from dyshidrosis.

Important: You should consult your doctor to tell you which presentation of corticosteroids you should use, after he performs an evaluation of the state of the vesicles or bullae.

3. Anti-inflammatories

The eczema in dyshidrosis occurs from the accumulation of fluid in the vesicles or bullae. In very chronic or recurrent cases, the use of methotrexate or cyclosporine has been recommended.

Note: Immediate consultation with a specialist is recommended to carry out an evaluation and indicate the treatment.

4. Phototherapy

This is a therapy that combines exposure to ultraviolet light with medications that help make the skin more receptive to the effects of that type of light. The specialist can recommend it in case other treatments are not effective.

Note: In an article on “Exposure to sunlight as adjuvant therapy for dyshidrotic eczema” , the benefit that controlled exposure to sunlight can bring on dyshidrosis is stated. (5)

5. Botulinum toxin

The use of botox has been another alternative that has proven to be effective for the treatment of dyshidrosis, since it inhibits the production of sweat in the eccrine glands, minimizing the formation of liquid blisters.

A scientific article on ” Botulinum toxin in disabling dermatological diseases” , states that botulinum toxin may represent a viable alternative in the treatment of skin conditions such as dyshidrosis. (6)

Important: The administration of this substance must be prescribed and applied by a specialist doctor.

Key Findings

  • Dyshidrosis is a common vesicular disease that can appear in any person regardless of gender or age.
  • It occurs on the hands and feet, and is not contagious, characterized by the appearance of vesicles and blisters with fluid.
  • They are painful, cause itching and irritation in severe cases.
  • This pathology has no cure, the treatments indicated are to mitigate the annoying effects of vesicles or blisters.
  • Infections in these vesicles can aggravate the disease .

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