Causes and Risk Factors of Dyshidrotic Eczema

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Dyshidrotic eczema can cause reddened and tender skin that can crack and peel.

This article will discuss the common causes and risk factors of dyshidrotic eczema. It will also cover how genetics and lifestyle choices play a factor in the development of the condition.

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Common Causes

The cause of dyshidrotic eczema is not known, but what experts do know is that the condition is not contagious, and women are more likely than men to develop skin rashes. Specific triggers can cause the condition to appear.

Some triggers that can cause dyshidrotic eczema include:

  • Contact with metals: many of the items that people touch throughout the day have metal in them. This includes clothes, jewelry, and coins. Nickel is one of the more common triggering metals.
  • Warm weather: as temperatures rise, some people find that the weather can trigger their dyshidrotic eczema.
  • Stress: stress has been found to be a trigger.
  • Preexisting allergies: people with allergies are more likely to have dyshidrotic eczema than those without allergies.
  • Wet hands: frequently damp hands can trigger the rash.
  • Shampoos and soaps: certain shampoos and soaps may irritate the skin, triggering dyshidrotic eczema.

A healthcare provider can help identify a person's triggers. Though not all triggers can be avoided, many of them can. Staying away from triggers can reduce the likelihood of developing the rash.

Lifestyle Risk Factors

Lifestyle risk factors for dyshidrotic eczema are factors that a person has control over. These include:

  • Exposure to allergens and irritants
  • Smoking
  • Ultraviolet light exposure

A few risk factors that are not always avoidable are atopic dermatitis, hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), and receiving intravenous immunoglobulin therapy.


Dyshidrotic eczema is a rash that develops on the hands and feet. It causes itchy, fluid-filled bumps that occasionally appear or come and go. As they start to heal, the bumps form a red, scaly patch on the skin. Experts do not know what causes this, though they have identified several triggers, such as contact with metals, wet hands, and stress.

A Word From Verywell

Dyshidrotic eczema can interfere with your life and work. The bumps it forms on your hands and feet are intensely itchy and can become infected if scratched open. It's important to work with your healthcare provider to identify your triggers. Eliminating or minimizing your exposure to them can reduce the incidence of the rash.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What triggers dyshidrotic eczema?

    Dyshidrotic eczema is triggered by contact with metals, moisture on the hands and feet, allergies, and stress.

4 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. National Eczema Association. Dyshidrotic eczema.

  2. American Academy of Dermatology Association. Eczema types: dyshidrotic eczema overview.

  3. MedlinePlus. Pompholyx eczema.

  4. Calle Sarmiento PM, Chango Azanza JJ. Dyshidrotic eczema: a common cause of palmar dermatitisCureus. 12(10):e10839. doi:10.7759/cureus.10839

By Patty Weasler, RN, BSN
Patty is a registered nurse with over a decade of experience in pediatric critical care. Her passion is writing health and wellness content that anyone can understand and use.