Dyshidrosis, also known as dyshidrotic eczema or pompholyx, is an uncommon skin condition in which very small, fluid-filled blisters appear on the palms of your hands and the sides of your fingers. The soles of your 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, your skin may appear scaly. The blisters typically recur, sometimes before your skin heals completely from the previous blisters.

Treatment for dyshidrosis most often includes creams or ointments that you rub on the affected skin. In severe cases, your doctor may suggest corticosteroid pills, such as prednisone, that you take by mouth.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications Prevention

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.

When to see a doctor

Call your doctor if you have a rash on your hands or feet that doesn't go away on its own.

© 1998-2015 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of use