Itchy hands and feet are sometimes a sign of a chronic skin condition called dyshidrotic eczema. This rash appears as a grouping of intensely itchy, fluid filled blisters. These are most often found on the sides of the fingers and on the insoles of the feet. The affected skin may develop fissures and ooze or crust over. This skin disorder is often chronic and may flare up over and over.This condition was once believed to be linked to malfunction of sweat glands in the affected areas. However, more recent research indicates that this is not the case. It is likely that a combination of internal and environmental factors play a role in the development of dyshidrotic eczema. This problem often affects individuals who have atopic dermatitis (chronic skin rashes caused by allergies or irritants) and those with hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). Hot weather and contact with moisture generally make symptoms worse.

Potential Treatments

  • Staying away from allergens, irritants, hot environments, and prolonged contact with water may reduce the severity and frequency of symptoms.
  • Itchy hands and feet that have oozing or crusting rash may be treated with a Domeboro (aluminum acetate) solution in a soak or compress.
  • Topical steroids are another option for controlling recurring episodes of fluid filled blisters on the hands and feet.
  • Patients who experience this rash in conjunction with excessive sweating are sometimes given botulinum toxin A injections to limit symptoms.

There are many other therapies typically used for other types of eczema that are also being investigated for use in treating dyshidrotic eczema. You should discuss a range of treatments with your dermatologist to find one that will provide long term relief.

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