Understanding Dyshidrosis: Causes, Symptoms, and Daily Care Guide

Is Dyshidrosis the Same as Herpes?

Many people might mistakenly think that “dyshidrosis” is a type of herpes due to its name, and even fear it as contagious. In reality, dyshidrosis is not herpes and is not contagious.
Dyshidrosis is a form of eczema. Initially, the medical community believed its occurrence was related to abnormal sweat gland secretion, hence the name dyshidrosis. However, recent studies have shown that dyshidrosis is not related to this, but the name has persisted due to familiarity.

When is Dyshidrosis Likely to Occur?

The exact cause of dyshidrosis is still not unanimously agreed upon in the medical field, but it can generally be attributed to three main factors:

Source: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK565878/

Seasonal changes, especially during spring and summer. The patient’s allergic constitution, such as those with allergic rhinitis, coupled with distant fungal infections, can trigger a unique vesicular reaction. Contact with allergenic substances, such as nickel and copper, which are metals known to cause contact allergies. In addition to these three reasons, some studies also suggest that the occurrence of dyshidrosis may be linked to stress and emotional states. High stress, emotional instability, and insomnia can also trigger dyshidrosis. Regardless of the cause, dyshidrosis often has a high recurrence rate.

What Are the Symptoms of Dyshidrosis?

Dyshidrosis commonly affects the palms and sides of the fingers, tips of the fingers, and the sides of the feet, typically forming small blisters that resemble tapioca pearls. A single blister can last for 2 to 3 weeks, then gradually dries up and cracks, leading to peeling. During this process, the skin is often unbearably itchy.

Symptoms Easily Confused with Dyshidrosis

Since dyshidrosis often occurs on the hands and feet, patients sometimes mistakenly believe they have athlete’s foot, dry skin, or “wealthy hands,” leading them to self-medicate with over-the-counter creams. This approach not only fails to address the actual problem but can worsen the symptoms.

Is it Necessary to See a Doctor for Dyshidrosis?

Most cases of dyshidrosis gradually heal over a few weeks, so patients need not be overly concerned. Topical steroids prescribed by doctors are usually effective for severe cases.
If the patient also has a fungal infection (such as athlete’s foot), treatment for the microbes will be provided.

Daily Care for Dyshidrosis

Beyond medication, patients with dyshidrosis should also pay special attention to the care of their hands and feet:
Avoid touching irritant cleaning agents and maintain a dry and ventilated state. Remember to apply lotion after washing hands or feet to prevent excessive dryness. Additionally, maintaining a regular daily routine, avoiding staying up late, and having a balanced diet are basic practices to prevent the recurrence of dyshidrosis.