What kind of allergy causes itchy hands
Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- itchy, red, watering eyes (conjunctivitis)
- a raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
- tummy pain, feeling ill, vomiting or diarrhoea
- wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and a cough
- sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose (allergic rhinitis)
- swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face
- dry, red and cracked skin
The symptoms vary depending on what you’re allergic to and how you come into contact with it.
For example, you may have a runny nose if exposed to pollen, develop a rash if you own a skin allergy, or feel sick if you eat something you’re allergic to.
See your GP if you or your kid might own had an allergic reaction to something.
They can assist determine whether the symptoms are caused by an allergy or another condition.
Read more about diagnosing allergies.
There are numerous treatments available for dyshidrosis.
However, few of them own been developed or tested specifically on the condition.
- Topical steroids – while useful, can be dangerous long-term due to the skin-thinning side-effects, which are particularly troublesome in the context of hand dyshidrosis, due to the quantity of toxins and bacteria the hands typically come in contact with.
- Dapsone (diamino-diphenyl sulfone), an antibacterial, has been recommended for the treatment of dyshidrosis in some chronic cases.
- Alitretinoin (9-cis-retinoic acid) has been approved for prescription in the UK.
It is specifically used for chronic hand and foot eczema. It is made by Basilea of Switzerland (BAL 4079).
- Potassium permanganate dilute solution soaks – also favorite, and used to ‘dry out’ the vesicles, and kill off superficial Staphylococcus aureus, but it can also be extremely painful. Undiluted it may cause significant burning.
- Barriers to moisture and irritants, including barrier creams and gloves.
- Antihistamines: Fexofenadine up to 180 mg per day.
- Systemic steroids can be taken orally to treat especially acute and severe cases of dyshidrosis.
Dyshidrosis is diagnosed clinically, by gathering a patient’s history and making careful observations (see signs and symptoms section). Severity of symptoms can also be assessed using the dyshidrotic eczema area and severity index (DASI). The DASI has been designed for clinical trials and is not typically used in practice.
Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis)
In rare cases, an allergy can lead to a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening.
This affects the whole body and usually develops within minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to.
Signs of anaphylaxis include any of the symptoms above, as well as:
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.
Read more about anaphylaxis for information about what to do if it occurs.
Sheet final reviewed: 22 November 2018
Next review due: 22 November 2021
|Other names||Acute vesiculobullous hand eczema, dyshidrotic dermatitis, cheiropompholyx, dyshidrotic eczema, pompholyx, podopompholyx|
|The characteristic vesicles of dyshidrosis on a finger|
|Symptoms||Itchy blisters on the palms of the hands and bottoms of the feet|
|Usual onset||Often recurrent|
|Duration||Heal over 3 weeks|
|Diagnostic method||Based on symptoms|
|Differential diagnosis||Pustular psoriasis, scabies|
|Treatment||Avoiding triggers, barrier cream, steroid cream, antihistamines|
|Frequency||~1 in 2,000 (Sweden)|
Dyshidrosis, is a type of dermatitis, that is characterized by itchy blisters on the palms of the hands and bottoms of the feet. Blisters are generally one to two millimeters in size and heal over three weeks. However, they often recur. Redness is not generally present. Repeated attacks may result in fissures and skin thickening.
The cause is unknown. Triggers may include allergens, physical or mental stress, frequent hand washing, or metals. Diagnosis is typically based on what it looks love and the symptoms.Allergy testing and culture may be done to law out other problems. Other conditions that produce similar symptoms include pustular psoriasis and scabies.
Avoiding triggers may be useful as may a barrier cream. Treatment is generally with steroid cream. High strength steroid creams may be required for the first week or two.Antihistamines may be used to assist with the itch. If this is not effective steroid pills, tacrolimus, or psoralen plus ultraviolet A (PUVA) may be tried.
About 1 in 2,000 people are affected in Sweden. Males and females appear to be affected equally. It explains about one in five cases of hand dermatitis. The first description was in 1873. The name comes from the expression «dyshidrotic», meaning «difficult sweating», as problems with sweating was once believed to be the cause.
The exact causes of dyshidrosis are unknown.
Food allergens may be involved in certain cases. Cases studies own implicated a wide range of foods including tuna, tomato, pineapple, chocolate, coffee, and spices among others. A number of studies own implicated balsam of Peru. A 2013 study found that dyshydrosis on the hands increased among those allergic to home dust mites, following inhalation of home dust mite allergen.
Id reaction and irritant contact dermatitis are possible causes.
Signs and symptoms
Dyshidrosis has been described as having the following characteristics:
- Itchiness of the palms or soles, followed the a sudden development of intensely itchy little blisters on the sides of the fingers, the palms or the feet.
- After a few weeks, the little blisters eventually vanish as the top layer of skin falls off.
- These eruptions do not happen elsewhere on the body.
- These blisters are often described as having a «tapioca pudding» appearance.
- The eruptions may be symmetrical.
Advanced stage of dyshidrosis on the fingers
Advanced stage of palmar dyshidrosis on the palm showing cracked and peeling skin
Advanced stage of dyshidrosis on the foot.
Rim of scale on the palmar surface of the thumb from a resolving dyshidrotic flare