What Are the Different Types of Dyshidrosis Treatment?

Jacquelyn Gilchrist

Different types of dyshidrosis treatment are aimed at alleviating the intense itching and pain that many patients suffer from. Also called pompholyx or dyshidrotic eczema, dyshidrosis is a skin condition and a type of eczema that results in itchy blisters on the patient's hands and feet. The doctor may prescribe various medications, which may be taken orally or applied topically. A few home remedies may also help. Some patients may benefit from phototherapy, particularly those who experience chronic or recurring dyshidrosis.

Dyshidrosis is a kind of eczema.
Dyshidrosis is a kind of eczema.

These small blisters are usually accompanied by severe, intense itching, particularly in the early stages of the condition. It is essential that patients refrain from scratching, because this can cause the skin to thicken and become even more irritated. To help relieve the itching, a doctor may prescribe an antihistamine, such as loratadine or diphenhydramine. Before taking any medication for dyshidrosis treatment, patients should disclose their other drugs or supplements they take, as well as any other medical conditions.

Cortisone creams and ointments are mainstays of dyshidrotic eczema.
Cortisone creams and ointments are mainstays of dyshidrotic eczema.

Topical corticosteroids may also help reduce itching, as well as ease inflammation and accelerate the healing of the skin. The patient will be instructed to apply an ointment or cream directly to the blisters. He should not exceed the dosage recommendations. Patients with severe dyshidrosis may also take an oral steroid medication.

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Other topical applications may be used if corticosteroids and antihistamines are ineffective. The doctor may recommend ointments that suppress the immune system, such as pimecrolimus and tacrolimus. These are also applied directly to the blisters; however, patients may be more likely to develop a secondary skin infection.

Another possible dyshidrosis treatment is phototherapy, or light therapy, which uses ultraviolet light. This kind of therapy is called psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA). Patients undergoing this type of dyshidrosis treatment will see their doctors several times a week, possibly for several months. The affected skin will be soaked in psoralen, a type of medicine, before the ultraviolet light targets the area.

In addition to prescription medications and phototherapy, patients may find relief with simple home remedies. They may dip a clean cloth in cold water and place it over the affected skin. These compresses can help relieve the itching and facilitate healing.

While undergoing dyshidrosis treatment, patients should refrain from excessive bathing and also avoid exposure to potentially irritating substances, such as harsh soaps, perfumes, and other chemicals. The skin should be kept moisturized with hand creams, rather than lotions. Those who choose to use over-the-counter ointments should use heavy ointments, such as mineral oil or petroleum jelly.

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