Signs and Symptoms of Dyshidrotic Eczema
What does dyshidrotic eczema look like?
Dyshidrotic eczema, or pompholyx,is a type of skin rash (dermatitis) that is characterized by small to large fluid-filled blisters known as vesicles or bullae respectively. It is an itchy skin condition that often arises in the presence of other skin or systemic diseases. Scratching excessively and rupturing of the blisters leads to cracking of the skin and the formation of fissures that can be painful. This carries the additional risk of a secondary bacterial infection leading to oozing and further inflammation of the skin.
Dyshidrotic dermatitis arises on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. In the early stages, the blisters on the feet may go by unnoticed and patients often find the rash on the hands more distressing. The blisters may also extend to the sides of the fingers and toes (lateral aspects) without underlying inflammation and redness of the skin (eyrthema). With an infection, pustules with a yellowish discharge may develop alongside the clear fluid-filled vesicles or bullae. Various deformities of the fingernails may be seen in more severe or long standing cases as is described under fingernail ridges, thickened fingernails and discolored nails. Changes in the nails may also be related to a fungal infection (onychomycosis) with overlapping dyshidrotic eczema.
Other skin symptoms may be related to underlying conditions, particularly atopic and contact dermatitis as well as dermatophyte (fungal) infection. Many of these features overlap though, like fissures between the fingers and toes, which is seen with a fungal infection and peeling of the skin (desquamation) in contact dermatitis which also occurs in dyshidrotic eczema without any of these underlying skin conditions existing. Read more on types of eczema.
Pictures of Dyshidrotic Eczema on the Hands
Dyshidrotic eczema with vesicles on the palms. Picture from Wikimedia Commons
Dyshidrotic eczema on the palms with peeling of the skin. Picture from Wikimedia Commons
Severe dyshidrotic eczema with large blisters (bullae). Picture from Dermatology Atlas (Courtesy of Samuel Freire da Silva, M.D.)
Pictures of the Dyshidrotic Eczema on the Fingers
Dyshidrotic eczema blisters on the fingers. Picture from Dermatology Atlas (Courtesy of Samuel Freire da Silva, M.D.)
Severe dyshidrotic eczema on the fingers. Picture from Wikimedia Commons
Pictures of Dyshidrotic Eczema on the Feet
Dyshidrotic eczema on the feet with excoriation. Picture from Wikimedia Commons
Dyshidrotic eczema on the soles of the feet showing peeling and excoriation. Picture from Wikimedia Commons
Article reviewed by Dr. Greg. Last updated on April 4, 2011