Our team of professionals and staff believe that informed patients are better equipped to make decisions regarding their health and well-being. For your personal use, we have created an extensive patient library covering an array of educational topics, which can be found on the side of each page. Browse through these diagnoses and treatments to learn more about topics of interest to you.
* This section is provided free of charge to you from the American Academy of Dermatology's library. We do not treat all conditions listed here, nor do we perform all treatments discussed in this section. This is purely meant to be a reliable resource for patients with an interest in, or questions about, a wide array of dermatologic topics.
As always, you can contact our office to answer any questions or concerns.
Dyshidrotic eczema: Overview
What is dyshidrotic eczema?
Dyshidrotic (dis-hi-drah- tic) eczema (DE) is a common group of skin conditions in which the skin cannot protect itself as well as it should, so the person often gets itchy, dry skin).
DE causes itchy, dry skin. People also develop small, deep-seated blisters, usually on their hands. It’s also possible to develop blisters on your feet.
Whether on your hands, feet, of both, the blisters are often very itchy and painful.
When the blisters clear (usually in 2 or 3 weeks), the skin tends to be red, dry, and cracked.
There is no cure for DE, so people can have flares. For many people, DE flares when they’re under a lot of stress, temperatures rise (such as in spring or summer), or their hands stay wet for long periods of time.
DE flares range from mild to debilitating. A severe flare on your feet can make walking difficult. Having many blisters on your hands can make it difficult to work and perform everyday tasks like shampooing your hair and washing dishes.
This common skin disease has many names, including:
- Cheiropompholyx (affects the hands)
- Dyshidrotic dermatitis
- Foot-and-hand eczema
- Pedopompholyx (affects the feet)
- Vesicular eczema
- Vesicular palmoplantar eczema
Image used with permission of the American Academy of Dermatology National Library of Dermatologic Teaching Slides.
Habif TP, Campbell JL, et al. “Pompholyx” (card #16). In: Dermatology DDxDeck. Mosby 2006.
Miller JL, Hurley HJ. “Diseases of the eccrine and apocrine sweat glands.” In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, et al, eds. Dermatology. Mosby Elsevier 2008. p. 543.