What is dyshidrotic eczema on the feet?

Dyshidrotic eczema (also known as pompholyx or dyshidrosis) causes itchy skin and small, fluid-filled blisters. This condition usually appears on the soles of the feet and can be either reactive or inflammatory. Due to its plantar location and name, dyshidrotic eczema can sometimes be confused for a hyperhidrosis. Sweating, however, is not a cause or a consequence of dyshidrotic eczema.

What are the symptoms of dyshidrotic eczema?

Dyshidrotic eczema occurs on the soles of the feet. Itchy, fluid-filled blisters or pustules form under the skin causing considerable discomfort. Dyshidrotic eczema on the soles of the feet often causes scaling or hyperkeratosis (thickening of the stratum corneum). The condition is often seasonal, worsening or reappearing in the spring and fall months.

What are the causes of dyshidrotic eczema?

Dyshidrotic eczema is usually a reactive disorder whereby many white blood cells (leukocytes) migrate from the blood into the skin. Once present in the skin, these cells form the blisters or pustules that characterize dyshidrotic eczema. Dyshidrotic eczema is in the same family as psoriasis or atopic dermatitis. These skin diseases are auto-inflammatory and have a chronic relapsing course. Therefore, if an individual is predisposed to the condition, it will reoccur many times throughout their life. As with psoriasis or atopic dermatitis, there is no one definite cause of dyshidrotic eczema, but some common triggers include:

  • stress
  • seasonal changes
  • contact with irritants
  • secondary infections from the streptococcal bacterial family
  • secondary infections from the dermatophyte bacterial family

How to treat dyshidrotic eczema

Dyshidrotic eczema is often mistaken for a form of hyperhidrosis. However, as it has similar properties as psoriasis or atopic dermatitis, the same treatment approach should be applied, namely the use of reducing agents.

  • Apply 2S Cream in the evening and massage until completely absorbed
  • Every morning, apply PEG Balm and massage well.

Dyshidrotic eczema is sometimes linked with athlete’s foot (dermatophytes) between the toes. To treat, apply 2S Cream between the toes every evening until the infection disappears. In some cases, getting rid of athlete’s foot is enough to also cure dyshidrotic eczema.

To keep the affected area clean, dry wash with a potassium permanganate solution. When the eczema has regressed, resume washing with the mild, non-foaming Eudermic Cleansing Base.

To avoid irritating the skin during an eruption of dyshidrotic eczema, feet should not be wet or washed. Water and contact with soaps can be stressors which aggravate symptoms.

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