This patient information on Dyshidrotic Eczema is provided by John L. Meisenheimer, M.D. a board certified Dermatologist and skin care specialist based in Orlando, Florida. This information is not intended as a substitute for the medical advice or treatment of a dermatologist or other physician.
What is it? Dyshidrotic Eczema is a peculiar disorder of the skin. It is occasionally called pompholyx. It can occur at any age, but it is more common in adults. Typically it appears as tiny water blisters on the hands and sometimes the feet. The little blisters break causing a scaly eruption on the palms and sides of the fingers. There is often intense itching associated with the eruption. I will do some tests to make sure this is not some other skin condition that looks similar to Dyshidrotic Eczema. Click here for other types of eczema.
What causes it? This is an inflammatory disease of the skin that involves the hands and sometimes the feet, but the exact cause remains unknown. Stress and changes in climate can worsen the condition in some cases. Very often it is seen in association with those that are atopic.
Is it Dangerous? For the typical healthy person Dyshidrotic Eczema is a harmless disorder. It is not related to cancer and it does not involve internal organs. Severe cases may become secondarily infected and sometimes the condition can be disabling.
Can it be cured? The treatment program I put you on will help control or clear the eczema, but it is not a cure. Even if the disorder is totally cleared, you will still be predisposed to have repeated episodes. Repeat treatment may be needed and some patients may require continuous therapy.
Will it spread? This condition stays localized to the hands and/or the feet.
Is it contagious? It is not contagious and you cannot "catch it" from anyone. It is not a fungus infection, and it has nothing to do with sweating or the sweat glands.