What Are the Treatments for Dyshidrosis?

Updated November 21, 2016

Dyshidrosis is a form of eczema that appears on your hands, feet or both. Dyshidrosis is also known as dyshidrotic eczema. When you develop dyshidrosis, you will have fluid filled blisters that form on your hands or feet. The skin condition can have the appearance of tapioca pudding, and can cause extreme itching and burning. Once the blisters begin to heal, your skin will develop painful cracks within the skin that looks like scales. There are several treatments for dyshidrosis that can help alleviate your symptoms.

Creams and Ointments

The first course of treatment for dyshidrosis will be a corticosteroid cream. According to the Mayo Clinic, you can be prescribed clobetasol propionate by your physician to help heal cracks that develop as a result of the eczema. Clobetasol propionate can also speed up the healing process and appearance of your blisters. Hydrocortisone can also help alleviate symptoms such as itching.

Cold Compresses

Cold compresses can help temporarily alleviate symptoms of itching. Cold compresses can also help the absorption of your topical creams, as well as minimise the severity of blistering. Initially you should put on creams or ointments thirty minutes prior to a cold compress. You can then wet a washcloth and put it in your freezer for about five to ten minutes. Apply the cold wrap to your affected area, and leave on for at least 30 minutes.


Antihistamines can help reduce symptoms of itching by minimising the production of histamines. Histamines are produced in your body when your body believes it is under an invasion from foreign invaders. According to the Mayo Clinic, your physician may prescribe antihistamines such as Claritin to stop symptoms of itching. Antihistamines that include diphenhydramine like Benadryl, can also help your symptoms.

UV Light

When other options don't work, your physician may want you to undergo ultraviolet light therapy. This type of therapy is known as psoralen plus ultraviolet A, or PUVA. While taking medications to increase the absorption of the UV light, you will be exposed to low doses of ultraviolet light to help heal your blisters. PUVA is also recommended for sufferers who have chronic bouts of dyshidrosis.

Other Options

If treatments don't work, especially in severe cases of dyshidrosis, there is an optional treatment with botulinum toxin injections. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, the use of botulinum is controversial, as it is a new course of treatment in dyshidrosis cases. Also, it isn't known what kind of long-term effects that can result from botulinum toxin injections.


There are immune-suppressing ointments such as Elidel that can help clear up eczema skin infections. There is a black box warning attributed to Elidel, as the FDA believes that Elidel can cause systemic immunosuppression. Systemic immunosuppression is a condition whereby your body is unable to fight off infections. According to Elidel, it would require high doses of the cream to cause any type of effects to your immune system. Since the cream is only used as a topical ointment, very low doses of Elidel reach your bloodstream. The cream is applicable in children 2 and over, and for the use in older adults.

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