Dyshidrosis, also known as dyshidrotic eczema or pompholyx, is an uncommon skin condition in which very small, fluid-filled blisters appear on palms of the hands and sides of fingers. The soles of feet also can be affected. The blisters that occur in dyshidrosis generally last around three weeks and cause intense itching. Once the blisters of dyshidrosis dry, skin may appear scaly.
The blisters typically recur, sometimes before your skin heals completely from the previous blisters.
The blisters associated with dyshidrosis occur most commonly on the sides of the fingers and the palms, although the soles of the feet also can be affected. The blisters are usually small — about the width of a standard pencil lead — and typically appear in clusters, with an appearance similar to tapioca. In more-severe cases, the small blisters may merge together to form larger blisters. Skin affected by dyshidrosis can be very itchy or even painful. Once the blisters dry and flake off, which occurs in about three weeks, the underlying skin may be red and tender.Dyshidrosis tends to recur fairly regularly for months or years.
In most cases, doctor can diagnose dyshidrosis based on a physical exam. No lab test can specifically confirm a diagnosis of dyshidrosis, but doctors may suggest tests to rule out other skin problems that have similar symptoms. For example, a scraping of your skin can be tested for the type of fungus that causes problems such as athlete's foot. Skin allergies and sensitivities can be revealed by exposing patches of skin to various substances.