Most people have heard of eczema, a persistent, irritating and ugly skin condition. Dyshidrotic eczema is a speciality of the main disease occurring only on the hands and feet. Dyshidrotic eczema creates tiny and ferociously itchy blisters on the soles of the feet, palms of the hand and on the periphery of the fingers and toes. This condition also goes by the alternative names of Foot-and-Hand Eczema, Cheiropompholyx and Dyshidrosis.
What are the causes of Dyshidrotic eczema?
The causes of Dyshidrotic eczema, sadly, are not yet known but there is a lot of data on predispositions and triggers. The main target group is young adults up to approximately the age of 40, it can also affect children. People already afflicted with hay fever or dermatitis are particularly susceptible and there appears to be a hereditary link.
Stress is linked to Dyshidrotic eczema but then stress exacerbates any skin condition. Its link with seasonal allergies means exposure to pollen should be minimised. The allergy concept continues with a documented reaction to nickel and separately cobalt found in jewellery, clothing and many normal everyday household items. There is also a correlation between Dyshidrotic eczema and sweat and poor personal hygiene.
How to identify Dyshidrotic eczema
Take a look at our instructive pictures to aid you in establishing the exact identity of your skin rash. You will note a significant variation in the presentation of Dyshidrotic eczema especially if the blisters clump together to form larger patches. There is a range of symptoms including red, flaky skin and generalised itching. The skin may also turn very dry and shiny.
Is there a cure for Dyshidrotic eczema?
Scientists have been puzzling for years over how to cure regular eczema without tackling any specialist variations. Currently, there is no permanent solution on how to get rid of Dyshidrotic eczema but it can be managed via conventional medicine, natural remedies and over the counter treatment. A cure for Dyshidrotic eczema still resides in the research laboratories of dermatology departments.
Is Dyshidrotic eczema contagious because it looks like it can spread?
Dyshidrotic eczema is not contagious.
What is the treatment offered to manage Dyshidrotic eczema?
It is important not to self-diagnose as this Dyshidrotic eczema is often mistaken for contact dermatitis. Most treatment for Dyshidrotic eczema is home-based self-help which involves soaking the hands and feet to soften the skin and puncture the blisters. Ice or cold compresses are used to reduce inflammation and excellent cleanliness and moisturising are essential elements of the management programme; a deeply nourishing moisturiser or barrier cream are recommended. In severe cases or acute flare-ups, a doctor may prescribe a steroid cream. Antibiotics may also be necessary as it is quite easy for the lesions to gather infection.
Unsurprisingly, the excess production of sweat has a definitive link to Dyshidrotic Eczema. Known medically as Polyhidrosis, Hyperhidrosis or Sudorrhea, it is easy to see why the latter can lead to the former. Sufferers experience increased sweating all over their body or just in defined locations with the extremities seeming favourite, no great mystery as this is where the greatest concentration of sweat glands live.
For some people, this is a primary problem whereas for others, it is symptomatic of another illness such as diabetes mellitus, obesity or the menopause. This condition is very distressing but there are many steps which can alleviate it. Interventions such as Botulinum Toxin or Botox injections can disable the nerves in the hands and feet and help manage Dyshidrotic Eczema.
Oral medications notably Anticholinergic drugs disrupt parasympathetic nerve impulses and are another option.
What role can phototherapy play?
Also known as light therapy, this is used to treat all types of eczema, not just Dyshidrotic eczema. UVB light, the king of sunlight, is filtered to provide respite from inflammation, increase the production of Vitamin D and reducing scratching. It has a generally restorative effect on the skin, a remedy borrowed from the natural world.
What are the most effective home remedies for Dyshidrotic eczema?
Because Dyshidrotic eczema is not life-threatening, it can be well managed at home in the same way that those who suffer from acne or Psoriasis can considerably reduce the impact of their disorder. Understanding how to manage the malaise is the first step towards success. Dyshidrotic literally means disordered sweat so common sense dictates that uber cleanliness is a key part of the daily ritual. Avoiding things that worsen or irritate the eczema is crucial and these may vary throughout the course of a lifetime. Skin is an external reflection of our inner nutrition to for the good of your holistic health, try and drop from your diet salt, refined sugars and excess carbohydrate. Focus on good oils, fibre, fruit and vegetables.
Topically, soaking the skin for periods every day encouraging the blisters to leach followed by cold application to constrict the blood vessels have proved successful. Herbal treatments are popular, try liquorice extract which is applied topically although having some liquorice sweets to hand for children can make the routine more fun. Witch hazel and lavender oil are other sought after home remedies for Dyshidrotic eczema although you should be careful what you use during pregnancy and seek medical advice about what is appropriate.
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