Wednesday, October 24

Blisters on hands and feet - Small itchy water blisters - Dyshidrosis?

Small itchy water blisters - Blisters on hands and feet
Blisters on hands and feet can be due to dyshidrotic eczema, a skin condition, initially appearing as small itchy clusters of clear water (fluid-filled) vesicles. Usually this condition involves center of the palms and also sides of the fingers; but occasionally the soles of the feet may also get affected. The initial small, itchy bumps get filled with clear fluid to become water blisters, which may eventually break or burst while scratching them or using hand or feet. This may cause the skin to crust, crack and peel.

Typical symptoms of dyshidrosis blisters on hands and feet

  • These itchy blisters are small.
  • They may appear singly or in clusters.
  • They are deep-seated and are opaque.
  • Intense itching is usually present. In very rare cases there may be no itching.
  • These small blisters do not break easily.
  • Broken water blisters release colorless water like serum.
  • Skin in the broken vesicles crusts and cracks.
  • Lymph node swelling may be present during the outbreak.

Causes and effects of dyshidrotic eczema

Dyshidrosis also known as dyshidrotic eczema, vesicular eczema or pompholyx is more common is warm weather. These blisters tends to recur every two or three weeks and may become chronic on hands and feet. The exact cause of this idiopathic skin condition on hands and feet is not completely understood. Skin irritants appear to trigger this condition. These water blisters are not contagious and will not spread by touching of hands or feet. Its unsightly nature can lead to mental stress and social anxiety depression. Cracked and peeling skin can increase the risk of infections in the affected areas on hands and feet.

Triggering factors of small itchy water blisters on hands and feet.

  • Many triggering factors are associated with these small itchy water vesicles.
  • Genetic: In some cases this skin condition of small water vesicles is found to be passed down in families.
  • Stress: People under mental and physical stress have been found to develop these small itchy blisters.
  • Nickel: Frequent contacts with metals like chromium, nickel and cobalt, especially nickel have been found to give rise to these small itchy blisters in some people. Consuming canned products has caused these water vesicles in some individuals.
  • Chemicals: Contact with detergents, perfumes and other household chemicals has been found to trigger small water blisters in some people.
  • Allergies: Individuals prone allergies, urticaria and asthma are also prone to dyshidrotic eczema on hands and feet.

Treating dyshidrotic eczema blisters on hand

  • Scratching the affected itchy area must be avoided.
  • Topical steroids have been found to be effective in reducing the inflammation and itch. However their long-term use has to be avoided, considering their side effects.
  • Antihistamines are prescribed to reduce the itch and inflammation.
  • Dilute water solution of potassium permanganate (KMNO4) is useful in drying out the vesicles and controlling contact infections on hands and feet.
  • In some chronic cases of infected dyshidrotic eczema blisters, Dapsone (diaminodiphenyl-diphenyl sulfone), an antibacterial sulfonamide has been used successfully.
  • If the triggering factor is nickel, avoiding nickel rich foods like oatmeal and chocolate, avoiding canned food and avoidance of atmospheric exposure to nickel can help.
  • Persistent and worsening small itchy blisters on hands and feet must be evaluated by a healthcare professional for proper treatment.
Sudden appearance of tender feeling to touch can be a hint of progressive damage to the peripheral nerves or even the spinal cord and the brain.
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Image sources of small itchy water blisters on hands and feet: 1.

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Dyshidrotic eczema (pompholyx) appear as small itchy water blisters on hands and feet.

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