Vesicular palmoplantar eczema, also known as dyshidrotic eczema, is a chronic skin condition that is characterized by itchy lesions. Here are three things you need to know about this condition.  

What are the signs of vesicular palmoplantar eczema?

If you have vesicular palmoplantar eczema, you'll notice lesions on the palms of your hands or the soles of your feet, or in both areas. These lesions are fluid-filled bumps that look like blisters. The blister-like lesions are intensely itchy.

The lesions dry out and heal, though recurrences are common. Generally, people with this condition will suffer frequent recurrences of the lesions over a period of months or even years.

What causes it?

Dermatologists don't know what causes vesicular palmoplantar eczema, or other types of hand eczema, but some theories have been presented. Most researchers think that the condition occurs due to intrinsic (internal) changes in the skin. However, many extrinsic (external) factors have also been suggested to cause or worsen the condition.

Recurrences of this disease tend to occur in the spring or summer months, which suggests that sun exposure may act as a trigger. Increased sweating also seems to make this condition worse.

Irritants and allergens have also been linked to the condition. Metals like nickel and cobalt have both been implicated as possible causes, as have allergens like dust mites, balsams, and cosmetic products.

Studies have also indicated that medications like oral contraceptives, aspirin, can trigger episodes, as can medical treatments like intravenous immunoglobulin therapy.

How is it managed?

Like other types of eczema, this condition is chronic, but while it can't be cured, it can be managed. Your dermatologist may recommend trying home remedies like applying lotion to the affected skin regularly, avoiding irritants and allergens, avoiding sun exposure, and minimizing sweating.

Medical treatments are available if home remedies aren't enough to ease your symptoms. One of these treatments is topical corticosteroids. Your dermatologist may prescribe a medicated cream or ointment and tell you to apply it to your lesions during flare ups. This cream will reduce inflammation and ease your itch, which gives your lesions the chance to heal.

Phototherapy is another possible medical treatment. During this treatment, your hands and feet will be exposed to narrowband ultraviolet B light. This works by reducing inflammation in the treated area. Since sun exposure may act as a trigger for some people, this treatment doesn't work for everyone, but it helps between 60% and 70% of patients who weren't successfully treated by other methods.

If you think you have vesicular palmoplantar eczema, see your dermatologist right away for eczema treatment