Treating Dyshidrotic Eczema
About a year ago, I noticed a few very small blisters on my hands. They didn't really itch and I wasn't too concerned. At the time, I was a habitual hand sanitizer user so figured it was something related to that. As the month passed by, the bumps increased in size and number and I noticed them on my feet as well. I wasn't worried until the intense itching started. As soon as I scratched the blisters, they would pop with clear liquid oozing out. This had be freaked so I finally went to the dermatologist.
It only took a few glances for her to diagnosis me with Dyshidrotic Eczema which I had never heard of before.She asked if I was under stress and I said yes. She then asked if I used hand sanitizer and I laughed as I opened my purse and took out the three small bottles I had stashed away. I was directed to stop using it immediately as it dries out your hands and to start a regiment of steroid creams. I left happy that I had an answer and expected it to go away in a few days. Boy was I wrong.
After a week of treatment, I saw little improvement. Two days after the steroids were done the bumps increased and I was worse off then when I started. A return trip to the doctor ended in more cream and another vicious cycle. After many weeks of frustration, I decided to take matters into my own hands.
I researched as much as I could in books, internet articles, forums, blogs and personal experiences from friends with the condition. I've compiled a list below of some of the things that have worked for me. Although I still suffer from the disease, my symptoms have improved. I know when a flare-up is coming and I'm able to prevent a huge outbreak.
What is Dyshidrotic Eczema?
Dyshidrotic Eczema - small itchy blisters that develop on the hands and feet.
- small fluid blisters that appear along the edges of your fingers, toes, palm and soles.
- These blisters cause intense itching, redness, flaking and cracking of the skin.
- Allergies such as hay fever
- Exposure to irritants and chemicals
- Exposure or allergy to heavy metals such as Nickel
- Heavy creams and ointments
- Steroid creams, pills or oitments
- Ultra Violet therapy thought to dry up the blisters
- Dyshidrosis - MayoClinic.com
Dyshidrosis — Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, treatment of this skin condition.
What I've Tried That Helps
I have experimented with various treatments and recommendations. There were times where my hands would get so bad that I couldn't close my fingers or hold anything. Now I have a routine and use different remedies depending how I am feeling. Some are good for the initial blister stage and some for the extreme cracking and dry skin.
Cotton Gloves Are A Must
These gloves have been a lifesaver.
- Hide hands during a break-out.
- Keep hands safe from irritants. This is especially important if you are using cleaners. Fit well under rubber gloves during cleaning, dishwashing and showering.
- Keeps hands moist after applying lotions, creams, ointments.
- Protects clothes, bedding, furniture, etc from lotions and creams that are applied.
Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Coconut Oil is extracted from the kernel or meat of a matured coconut. It has various uses from cooking, skin care and hair care. I read on one blog that there are over 100 uses. Some people take the oil internally by the spoonful or adding to different drinks and teas. I have only used in externally and it has worked wonders. I apply a small amount on my hands, rub it over the effected areas and cover my hands with cotton gloves. It leaves my hands feeling moist without all the chemicals and unnatural things added to lotions. I love that it is natural.
Epson salt is a naturally occurring mineral that assists in removing unwanted acids in the skin. There are two ways to help with eczema. Place a few tablespoons in a bowl of warm water and let dissolve. Soak your hands in the water for 10-15 minutes. This helps to reduce some of the swelling and redness caused by cracked skin and also softens the blisters allowing them to drain. Adding about 450 grams to a warm bath will have simaliar affects with the added relaxation benefit of a warm bath.
Selsun Blue Shampoo
Selsun Blue is a dandruff control shampoo that assists with cell shedding and flaking on the scalp. There are a few different kinds offered. The traditional blue shampoo contains selenium sulfide and the natural "unblue" version contains salicylic acid. I've tried both and prefer the natural clear version. This seems to burn less since it is not mentholated. It also contains moisturizers and vitamins. I found using this as my daily shampoo has helped. Regular shampoos seems to make my hands worse. I don't know if the Selsun is healing my hands directly but I know it doesn't irritate like other shampoos do.
Zinc oxide is used in diaper creams and to prevent diaper rashes, minor scraps, burns or skin irritations. It forms a barrier on the skin to protect from irritants and moisture. I had a horrible outbreak before a vacation to Florida which caused a lot of pain. My hands were full of blisters and dry hard skin that prevented me from closing my fingers. I read that applying a thick layer over the affected area and covering with gloves would help. Sure enough, my hands had improved overnight. The blisters and cracks had started to dry up and dead skin started to flake off. I use the zinc oxide when my hands get really bad.
Although I am not cured, the severity of the outbreaks has improved and healing is faster. All symptoms have yet to completely go away but it is much more manageable now. Two months ago I wouldn't be able to type this hub.
I intend to continue these treatments and experiment with new ones. I've heard that diet also has an effect. Avoiding gluten, sugar and dairy has been known to help as well so I will give it a try.
To anyone suffering from this disease, please don't be discouraged. Everyone's condition is different and people respond differently to various treatments. Just keep positive and know there are other's out there for support.
I am not a doctor or qualified to diagnosis diseases or recommend treatments. The information provided is based on my experience only and is not intended to be a substitute for your doctor's direction or instructions.